what to use instead of skype?

Colin Murphy colin at spudulike.me.uk
Sat Jan 6 11:05:24 UTC 2007

On Saturday 06 January 2007 09:29, John Dow wrote:
> Colin Murphy wrote:
> > I'd like to know what effort would be needed, on the Skype development
> > side, to get the latest versions of Windows Skype to run nicely under
> > wine.  This would appear to be the simplest solution for all.
> It's a simple short-term solution, sure, but does little to advance free
> software. I think the best approach is to attempt to educate the
> developers of the Linux version, rather than spending yet more time
> trying to turn Linux into Windows. All purely my opinion, of course ;-)

Unfortunately Skype is closed source and uses a propriatory format and so will 
never be free in that sense, anytime soon, if ever.  According to some of the 
posts on the Linux forum some of the developers do have a clue to the 
benefits of Free Software, but aren't in a position to make the code more 
widely available.  At least those that hold the purse strings see some 
benefit in providing a Linux version, but the efforts here are rapidly 
falling behind in popularity and usability as the Linux version falls further 
and further behind in new features, like video or SkypeCasts.

The latest release of the Linux version of Skype has taken ages to appear and 
is considered, by some, as no more than a bug fix anyway.  I am grateful for 
the effort that Skype put into there development for Linux but the 
incompatible feature sets mean that less and less Linux users will be able to 
use them to contact a wider Skype community. I no longer buy Skype credit for 
this reason.

The advantage of putting some effort into developing the Windows version of 
Skype so that it runs well with Wine, possibly by working with the Wine and 
CodeWeaver developers under contract or licence, doesn't detract from their 
support of Linux users in any way, it boosts it. 

I don't see this as another effort of to turn Linux into Windows, more an 
effort to see Linux maintaining compatible features with other users.

What I don't know, not being a developer in any way, is how feasible it might 
be for Skype to develop in this way, either because of limitations with the 
Skype code, the libraries it relies on, or wine development itself.

Colin at spudulike.me.uk
Gotta go, things to be, people to do, and stuff to, err, stuff.

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