birmingham.io

BrumFace - WebRTC enabling tech in Chrome & Firefox Hello

I’ve been very excited since I first heard about it, that Firefox Hello is based on an open web standard and Google Chrome is due to support it.

http://www.webrtc.org/

From Firefox, I can start a voice or video chat session by logging into Firefox to access my contact list (BOTH people!) or stay anonymous and email the link to someone.

However, I’ve been thinking about how you would schedule a time-specific meeting and I think the person who created the link would have to keep their session live until the meeting happened. I now notice that the technology is described as “enabling” and companies like Oracle are creating session management services to be the meeting point. Is this a project that anyone in the Birmingham.io community would be interested in?

What if Brum was a good virtual place to meet on the Internet? Imagine if a meeting was scheduled with a list of contacts then a link was shared a short time before the meetng was due. WIth my almost complete lack of web understanding, that doesn’t sound hard or processor intensive but I could be wrong.

Would you be able to go into a bit more detail about specifics? This might be something (or at least an implementation of which) which could be built into PairUp.

There’s a couple of implementations of this I’ve seen:

I’ve tried Jumpchat, and it’s impressive, but not ready yet IMO. I’m on 4G with Mint, and my friend has OS X. Either I would get a frozen screen, or his browser would crash. Nevertheless, I think it will mature as time goes on, and importantly the comms data doesn’t go through a central server and it is encrypted. A very exciting technology.

I should give Talky a go.

Not yet because I know nothing and haven’t thought it through but I have so much confidence in this non-idea that I’ve put skin in the game, well £6.99 + VAT, for 1 year of brumface.uk :smile:

I imagine it as a service that any site that arranges meetings could use, as an extra online option. It would keep track of the meeting participants and share the link, potentially anonymously, then keep it open until the meeting took place.

At the very least it will give me a real program to write.

Thanks @Halfer. I’m not actually convinced either of those are really doing anything that Firefox and an email group couldn’t do. It has made me wonder if the links persist longer than I thought they did though.

Here’s a Hello link
https://hello.firefox.com/e9KUuFYE6JA#VGVwiL2WLhu1FzXNWbFJNA
It should work with Chrome or Firefox but I don’t have a mic and I’m not sure about a camera :grinning:

I just heard a few indistinct words. I said “Hello” and someone said “absoluteley can’t do it” (maybe on the phone) then disappeared.

Perhaps I should have pointed out that the link would put you in a conversation with me? Sorry about that. Yes, I found some mic-headphones.

I have a hang-up button so I think the conversation is still live.

Have to go for my dinner so will hang up now. Please try the link and see what happens.

I hung up then after dinner, clicked on the link above and went back in, so if anyone wants to try it, I’m still here for a bit. I’m not sure my service is even necessary. Do you think they EVER time-out? :-/

You can mute video and/or audio, so I think it would work for text-only chat too.

Firefox thought I might like something to read and took me here to buy a UK phone:


Marketing is not their strong point.

The link still works! My idea may be completely pointless :smile:

Can anyone else go in and be ‘the first one there’ or does it have to be me because I set it up?

I tried connecting to it last night, but all I saw was a message saying two people were already using it.

It’s still there!

I wonder if it is limited to ‘2 ends’ and you have to form a star around a server to multiplex the comms. That used to be the case with early web conferencing systems, to prevent exponential growth in traffic as the participants increase in numbers.

I stumbled on this from early 2013, with a JaveScript example
https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/02/hello-chrome-its-firefox-calling/

There’s also a reference app called AppRTC which allows you to join a room number. That sounds hopeful, unless it’s a very small room.

This Open Source project looks very similar https://opentokrtc.com/

and a service that explains that you create a room then share the room’s URL with the people you want to talk to, so maybe companies and communities could meet in their rooms for a face-to-BrumFace?

The link is still open. I must try to find out of they are permanent it get recycled when they run out of a pool. If 2 people fancy a web chat, please try using this room, to see if it persists without me.

I’ve been using Firefox hello for a while now but yesterday I realised you can also share browser tabs and other windows within it :o

Thanks for speaking up @defsdoor. I’ve felt like I was shouting into the void.

As the domain brumface.uk expires this week, I thought I’d remind myself what I was planning for it, a year ago.

First I found the link had expired, then that Firefox Hello failed fast :frowning:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/hello-status

https://jitsi.org/ looks interesting. Apache licence.

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