Re: White Pine CUSeeMe Version 3.1.1]

Brian Godette (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 11:43:29 -0600

At 09:58 PM 4/16/98 -0400, you wrote:
>At 04:54 PM 4/16/98 -0600, Brian Godette wrote:
>>At 04:03 PM 4/16/98 -0500, you wrote:
>>>On Thu, 16 Apr 1998, David Toole wrote:
>>>> It doesn't much matter to me as a
>>>> Cu-SeeMe user that some reflectors work and some don't. I just know that
>>>> software is incapable of working properly with all reflectors and
>>therefore causes
>>>> problems when switching. IMHO, software should work, period.
>>>... so ignoring that fact only ticks off White Pine's potential (and
>>>possibly current) customers.
>>Hmmm, didn't I say something along those lines a few months ago? :)
>I find it disturbing that so many people on the list question White Pine's
>decision to support their own versions of reflector software (2.x and the
>new MPCS software) over the myriad versions of reflector software out
>there. Let me digress for a moment....

Hmmm, when did two become a myriad? That's effectively how many versions of
reflector software is out there from a *client* point of view. There's only
*two* "systems" in use here, the standard Cornell headers, and what WP uses
with Ref 2.1 and MPCS, which involves RTP headers (standard set by MBone
apps) and their own propriatary connection routine that involves TCP
sockets (how the conf-select-box works) as well as UDP. This is no great
task to support and is *ONLY* a state issue, the WP client supports both
systems however has a state bug when disconnecting/reconnecting.

>In todays business world, most software company's limit the systems,
>peripherals, and operating systems which will support their software. Let
>me use the Cornell CUSeeMe client as an example. In the release notes, the
>types of cameras which are supported by the Cornell version of the software
>are clearly outlined. Let's pretend for a moment that I choose to purchase
>a digital camera that is NOT on the supported hardware list (for whatever
>reason). Would that then give me the right to complain that the software
>does not work (let me quote here.... "IMHO, software should work, period")
>because I chose to use something that is clearly not supported, or is not
>supported well?

Then WP should drop the CUSeeMe name, as it clearly doesn't support Cornell
CUSeeMe? That's basically what you're saying they should do above. Bear in
mind, there's a vast difference between hardware support and "standardized"
protocol support.

>White Pine knows the ins and outs of their server software (i.e., Reflector
I'd argue that.... considering how long some long standing problems and
(relatively obvious) security issues still exist in it.

>2.x and MPCS), so wouldn't it make sense for them to limit support for
>their client software (CUSeeMe 2.x and 3.x)? Tech support can only do so
This doesn't make since considering they claim to be backwards compatible
with the Cornell software, and as stated above there is only *TWO* flavors
of reflectors from the client program's point of view.

>Besides, there is a large number of videoconferencing software packages
>available today which use propietary server software to connect users. If
>one were to look at iVisit, VocalTec Internet Phone, ICUII, and VDOPhone,
>one would see that of these software applications work best when using the
>propietary server software to connect to other users. Why should White
>Pine be any different? I don't hear anyone complaining about these
>company's limiting the server software which can be supported by their

They don't complain because those systems are self-contained, there is no
compatibility issues with other publicly available software from third
parties. The reason wht WP *IS* different is they have, once again, a
backwards compatibility issue to live with.

>Please try to remember these comments (strictly my own opinions) the next
>time you want to bash White Pine for making a technical decision on what
>works best for software which they developed.

So you'd be perfectly happy if Microsoft made a "technical decision" that
resulted in say... Win98 running Microsoft software only, or charging money
for Internet Explorer and having it work only with web sites on NT running
IIS 4.0? Think about how much damage that would do to their market share.
This is exactly what *does* and will happen when products built on existing
products break backwards compatibility with the existing products, and is
exactly why iVisit, VocalTec, ICUII, VDOPhone don't have this problem.

Ask yourself why DVD drives read CDRom? Why SVHS recorders play VHS tapes?
Why B&W TV's from the 50's can still be used? Why can Pentium-II's still
run DOS 3.3? Why can Win95 run DOS apps? Why will IPv6 still route IPv4
packets? Why does the PC BIOS still support 360k disks? I can go on forever