Reflector 3.0b1

Richard Cogger (R.Cogger@cornell.edu)
Fri, 23 Dec 1994 11:20:23 -0500


Merry Christmas,

Reflector 3.0b1 is available for ftp at:

cu-seeme.cornell.edu /pub/video/reflector

There is the usual tar file which includes a new readme. This time, the
readme file is also available seperately if you want to look at it before
deciding to download the whole thing.

WARNING-- There is quite a bit of new function, and it hasn't all been
tested as well as we would like, especially various combinations of linking
things together. Please make sure you have the means to know what's
happening on the net before you try some of the stranger possible hookups.
Also, note that John Lynn, who has done most of the reflector code will be
away for the holidays, so fixing problems may have to wait till next year.

Remember linking of reflectors of different versions is not supported and
known not to work correctly in some cases.

Also some of the new stuff is not really quite complete (vat mixers not
supported, no transcoding for nv). However, the code has (most of it) been
running for several weeks on the Cornell reflector at 132.236.91.204 and is
quite stable there (an RS-6000, FDDI connected). The use of this
reflector, incidently, is quite astonishing: using vat, we kept track for a
week of who connected; the result was that nearly 1000 different people
connected during the period.

What's new?

1. Interoperability with vat and nv (nv set to do CU-SeeMe encodings). You
can connect an individual Unix workstation, by unicast, to a CU-SeeMe
reflector 3.0b1 to participate in a conference. You can also use the mbone
to interconnect a conference on the reflector with a vat/nv conference
being multicast. Obviously you should be cautious about load imposed on the
mbone or on the Internet generally.

A restriction on unicast connections is that since nv has no way to tell
the reflector which video streams are being observed, a limit must be
imposed by a parameter on the reflector. Accordingly, a conference
arranged for a small group of known participants will work fine, but using
nv to drop in on a busy reflector will be useful only in the sense of a
test.

CU-SeeMe only shows 16 participants (you can view up to 8 of them), and vat
conferences can be much larger than that. If a CU-SeeMe reflector is
configured to pick up a vat conference on the mbone, only the most recently
active speakers (up to 16, depending on other CU-SeeMe senders) will be
forwarded to CU-SeeMe participants.

2. There are some useful new facilities for networking reflectors: rather
than having to configure both ends of a bcc link, you can set up an
admit-general-bcc for up to n other reflectors without specifying
addresses. Optionally, you can assign an ID to limit access.

3. The treatment of conference-ID has been changed so that an ID in one
range of numbers means you need to know the ID to be a sender but not to be
a lurker.

Check out the readme; I *think* everything is adequately explained there,
but let me know if something is unclear.