Preparing for the Video Chat meeting on 23 January 2014

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at
Sat Jan 11 07:42:47 UTC 2014

It's Friday (actually, early Saturday morning already) and I've tallied
up the selections for the software to use on the Ubuntu Canada Video
Chat. Response has not been overwhelming; I got only four replies.

Google+ Hangouts: 1 first choice, 1 third choice

XMPP: 1 second choice

Big Blue Button: 1 first choice (which actually came to me as a
question: "Bob, do we have a Big Blue Button server we can use? I've
been meaning to try it out." I count that as a first choice. Answer: "I
don't know of a Big Blue Button server we can use.")

Skype: 2 second choices

Facebook: None

Tiny Chat: 1 first choice (assuming that Seb Lemery's message "ave you
considered tinychat?" was actually a first choice)

IRC: 1 first choice (from a long-time Ubuntu Hour attendee who uses dial-up) 1 first choice: Myself! I've become partial to this WebRTC
video chat service (like Google+ Hangouts). But it doesn't require
registration, or a browser plugin, it's peer-to-peer (so no central
server that routes and records your conversation), and it's FAIF
software with source code available at;a=summary

The Ubuntu Ohio team invited me to try on their Mock Ubuntu
Hour, and it's reasonably good. Some of us in bandwidth challenged
countries *cough*Canada*cough* found it necessary to switch off the
video feed and rely on audio-only. The WebRTC protocol is supported by
Chromium and Firefox; YMMV with other browsers.

If anyone wants to try then let me know on the Ubuntu-ca
mailing list or on the #ubuntu-ca IRC channel
irc:// to arrange a time.  Heck, I might even
leave running, so you can join right in.

According to the scoring I'd set out, Google+ Hangouts and Skype are
tied at four points each.  But I'd like to win a few of you over to because of its simplicity and FAIFness.

I'm hoping some Ubuntu Canada chapters will have an Ubuntu Hour in the
next week, giving people a chance to work the bugs out and practice.
Toronto, Guelph and Kitchener, I'm looking at you!

The Ubuntu-ca Video Chat meeting is scheduled for 7:00pm EST on 23
January 2013. Details are on the LoCo portal at with a meeting
agenda at


On 14-01-02 03:09 AM, Bob Jonkman wrote:
> Happy New Year Everybodeee!
> At the last IRC meeting in November we came up with the idea to try a
> Video Chat[1] for our next meeting on Thursday, 23 January 2014.
> But what video chat software should we use?
> The Ubuntu Developer Summit meetings use Google Hangouts. But that's not
> FAIF software, and requires people to have a Google Plus account.
> José Antonio Rey (LoCo Council member from Peru!) and I tried to video
> chat over the open standards XMPProtocol (I used the Jitsi application
> from; don't know what José used). We could see each
> other, but didn't get sound to work. But given a bit more time, that
> could be fixed. The Jitsi demo of a video chat looks pretty impressive:
> There's the open source Big Blue Button
> although that looks like it's intended for a classroom more than a video
> chat.
> And, of course, there's Skype and Facebook, but both of those are
> non-FAIF and require accounts on their services.
> Skype:
> Facebook:
> So, over the next week let me know what your preferred video chat
> software is. I'll tally up the results next Friday (10 January).
> 1st choice = 3 points
> 2nd choice = 2 points
> 3rd choice = 1 point
> Choose from:
>   Google Hangouts
>   XMPP (Jitsi, Pidgin, Empathy, & other apps should interoperate)
>   Big Blue Button
>   Skype
>   Facebook Video Calling
> Once we've picked the  video chat software maybe the local chapters
> could hold an Ubuntu Hour. That would give people a chance to iron out
> any kinks with the software.
> We can discuss the video chat on the Ubuntu-ca mailing list. The list is
> a great place to ask for help if you can't get your webcam or microphone
> working, or need help installing software. If you're not already on the
> Ubuntu-ca mailing list you can join at
> I'm sending this message to several Ubuntu chapter mailing lists as well
> as the Launchpad Ubuntu-ca membership, so please pardon me if you should
> get this multiple times.
> See you all online!
> --Bob, who wonders if Chat Roulette is still a thing...
> [1] "ACTION: Schedule a video chat for Ubuntu Canada"

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