[jitsi-dev] Jitsi 1.0.1 on Linux first bugs and impressions


#1

I just installed jitsi 1.0.1 on LinuxMint 12 (somilar to ubuntu). Here's
what I hit.

I use twm(1) as window manager. This window manager does not have
close button or "balloon messages". I have chosen twm as
my window manager due to its simplicity and barebones design.

1. There is no way to close jitsi dialog boxes, such as "Options".
   This is very annoying because once the dialog box is open, it
   stays open until I kill jitsi process. Every dialog box should
   have a close button in the application itself (it should not
   rely on windowmanager for this function). Alternately, perhaps
   even preferrably, every jitsi window, including dialog boxes
   should be closeable by typing Ctrl-W.

2. The fact that dialog boxes can not be closed leads user to wonder
   if his settings were saved. It would appear that they are not
   saved. There should be Save settings button.

3. There seems to be no way to turn off popups or balloon messages.
   I finde them very distracting and would rather not have them (I also
   always turn off the notification sound). In Options/General/Popup
   notification type menu there should be an option to turn them
   off entirely.

4. During initial installation process there is no easy process to get
   SIP or Jabber account. One must

   a. already know that you need one,
   b. go to the web (outside jitsi install process) and engage in
      confusing SIP provider selection exercise (confusing because
      if you do not know what SIP is, how the hell are you supposed
      to make informed choice between the myriard providers - and
      why do the need email to register? I want instant
      messages so my email should be irrelevant.)
   c. Or you could be a guru and at this point install your own jabber
      server or whatever.

   All this account creation confusion creates steep learning curve.
   Skype has solved these issues in a much more elegant way (albeit
   evil as they are happy to be the single place where acconts are
   provisioned).

5. Half of my friends that try jitsi try to bypass the account creation
   hell by choosing SIP with noserver (lan version). The next thing I
   see is them trying to chat with me but their accounts are of
   the form foobar@192.168.1.101. When I try to reply them on the chat
   I get confusing "408 Message Timed Out" error. I figured that
   its not working because I can't talk to their private IP SIP server.
   But how is a normal user supposed to figure this out?

   a. One improvement would be to have the 408 error message explain
      what is going on. I think the patter is easy to identify: if there
      is @192.168 in the other party's SIP address, then there is trouble.

   b. Better improvement would be to alert the initiator of the chat session
      that it is hopeless due to @192.168 address on one side or another.

   c. The best solution would be for the chat protocol to actually carry
      full detail how to contact the other end even without SIP server
      being contactable. If a message gets through in one direction or
      the other, then communication should be possible irrespective of
      other misconfigurations or network inavailability of SIP.

6. Overall jitsi's chat connectivity does not seem as robust
   as Skype's. I do not know what blackmagic skype does that jitsi
   does not, but the net-net end result for user is that skype is
   more reliable.

7. No matter how much I try to deactivate Spell Checker (it is very
   annoying) the deactivation is not remembered across Quit and
   start again. I have not tried deleting the spell checker yet.

8. There is no simple sound test, like Skype Test Call.

9. I have turned on "Require Private Messaging", but it seems
   chat windows still appear where this is not on. I think
   it is a serious security threat that the settings give you
   an impression that you are protected when in fact you
   are not.

10. Selecting "Start private conversation" or clicking the padlock
    on the toolbar does not appear to turn the private conversation
    on.

11. Encryption on (does "private" mean same thing as encrypted?)
    indicator should be available even if I have hidden the toolbar,
    which I ofetn do because I do not want to waste screen realestate
    on toolbars.

12. What the hell is OTR? Off The Record? That does not sound any
    crypto at all. I get a feeling that jitsi has a big snakeoil
    factor to it because it is all too easy for users to think they
    are protected when they actually are not.

13. In the chat window, it would save vertical screen realestate if
    the author tag and the message were on the same linr (like they
    are at least in older skype clients).

Cheers,
--Sampo

P.S. I found out about jitsi in FOSDEM'13


#2

Hi,
I'd like to comment and propose something about these things.

I just installed jitsi 1.0.1 on LinuxMint 12 (somilar to ubuntu). Here's
what I hit.

I use twm(1) as window manager. This window manager does not have
close button or "balloon messages". I have chosen twm as
my window manager due to its simplicity and barebones design.

1. There is no way to close jitsi dialog boxes, such as "Options".
    This is very annoying because once the dialog box is open, it
    stays open until I kill jitsi process. Every dialog box should
    have a close button in the application itself (it should not
    rely on windowmanager for this function). Alternately, perhaps
    even preferrably, every jitsi window, including dialog boxes
    should be closeable by typing Ctrl-W.

It's the first time I note this, and I used Jitsi a lot. But I think a close button (like in Firefox preferences) could be useful.

2. The fact that dialog boxes can not be closed leads user to wonder
    if his settings were saved. It would appear that they are not
    saved. There should be Save settings button.

Since it isn't necessary to "save" anything, it could be added a "Save" button that does nothing. It sounds a bit silly to me, but I don't mean it shouldn't be added.

3. There seems to be no way to turn off popups or balloon messages.
    I finde them very distracting and would rather not have them (I also
    always turn off the notification sound). In Options/General/Popup
    notification type menu there should be an option to turn them
    off entirely.

Have you tried tweaking the Options/Events tab?

4. During initial installation process there is no easy process to get
    SIP or Jabber account. One must

    a. already know that you need one,
    b. go to the web (outside jitsi install process) and engage in
       confusing SIP provider selection exercise (confusing because
       if you do not know what SIP is, how the hell are you supposed
       to make informed choice between the myriard providers - and
       why do the need email to register? I want instant
       messages so my email should be irrelevant.)
    c. Or you could be a guru and at this point install your own jabber
       server or whatever.

    All this account creation confusion creates steep learning curve.
    Skype has solved these issues in a much more elegant way (albeit
    evil as they are happy to be the single place where acconts are
    provisioned).

Maybe at the first start, before the new account wizard, it should appear a window informing the user that they need a free account which can be chosen in the next windows. After that the new account wizard should appear. There you can register to a provider without going to the web (sometimes, it depends the provider you choose). Let me say that there are no so much differences between sip providers, so a lot of times the "informed decision" is really a "random choice". The only thing that could help the user in the choice is picking a provider and presenting it as the default. But which to pick? And why? I think that this choice could be very hard.

For the email thing: in the ippi account creation window in Jitsi it's described why ippi needs an email address, and to register to an xmpp server you don't even need it.

5. Half of my friends that try jitsi try to bypass the account creation
    hell by choosing SIP with noserver (lan version). The next thing I
    see is them trying to chat with me but their accounts are of
    the form foobar@192.168.1.101. When I try to reply them on the chat
    I get confusing "408 Message Timed Out" error. I figured that
    its not working because I can't talk to their private IP SIP server.
    But how is a normal user supposed to figure this out?

    a. One improvement would be to have the 408 error message explain
       what is going on. I think the patter is easy to identify: if there
       is @192.168 in the other party's SIP address, then there is trouble.

    b. Better improvement would be to alert the initiator of the chat session
       that it is hopeless due to @192.168 address on one side or another.

Chat with registrarless sip accounts should work in LANs, so you can't simply tell the user that "you can't chat", because in various situations they can. And the 408 error could mean various things. Maybe a router in the LAN just failed or a mouse cut the LAN wire.

    c. The best solution would be for the chat protocol to actually carry
       full detail how to contact the other end even without SIP server
       being contactable. If a message gets through in one direction or
       the other, then communication should be possible irrespective of
       other misconfigurations or network inavailability of SIP.

This is a proposal for the IETF, not for the Jitsi team, isn't it?

I think the best thing to do is to alert the user of possible malfunctioning when they choose to use a registrarless sip account, and offer them the possibility to register an account using a public sip provider.

6. Overall jitsi's chat connectivity does not seem as robust
    as Skype's. I do not know what blackmagic skype does that jitsi
    does not, but the net-net end result for user is that skype is
    more reliable.

7. No matter how much I try to deactivate Spell Checker (it is very
    annoying) the deactivation is not remembered across Quit and
    start again. I have not tried deleting the spell checker yet.

8. There is no simple sound test, like Skype Test Call.

You can try echo@iptel.org, but it is a thing that need to be provided by a (sip) provider, not by the application.

9. I have turned on "Require Private Messaging", but it seems
    chat windows still appear where this is not on. I think
    it is a serious security threat that the settings give you
    an impression that you are protected when in fact you
    are not.

10. Selecting "Start private conversation" or clicking the padlock
     on the toolbar does not appear to turn the private conversation
     on.

11. Encryption on (does "private" mean same thing as encrypted?)
     indicator should be available even if I have hidden the toolbar,
     which I ofetn do because I do not want to waste screen realestate
     on toolbars.

12. What the hell is OTR? Off The Record? That does not sound any
     crypto at all. I get a feeling that jitsi has a big snakeoil
     factor to it because it is all too easy for users to think they
     are protected when they actually are not.

I'm not an expert in cryptography but, as far as I know, OTR does provide a strong message encryption.

13. In the chat window, it would save vertical screen realestate if
     the author tag and the message were on the same linr (like they
     are at least in older skype clients).

Cheers,
--Sampo

P.S. I found out about jitsi in FOSDEM'13

Cheers,
Daniel

···

On 16/02/2013 16:38, sampo@zxidp.org wrote:


#3

sampo@zxidp.org:

4. During initial installation process there is no easy process to get
   SIP or Jabber account. One must
...
   b. go to the web (outside jitsi install process) and engage in
      confusing SIP provider selection exercise (confusing because
      if you do not know what SIP is, ...

As you mentioned, there is also Jabber / XMPP.

Some of the issues you mention also apply to XMPP, but SIP is no synonym
for both protocols.

Cheers,
Andreas