Re: Enhanced CUSeeMe Version 3.1

Jason Williams (streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu)
Fri, 12 Dec 1997 01:50:19 -0600 (CST)


On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Wayne Fisher wrote:
> Just wanted everyone to know that White Pine's Enhnaced CUSeeMe Version
> 3.1 is now available for download from the web
> (http://www.cuseeme.com). If you are a current registered user of
> version 3.0, it is a free upgrade; if you are a current registered user
> of version 2.x, it is a $29 dollar upgrade.

But how much is it to purchase 2.1.1/2.1.2? :)

> As a beta tester for White Pine, I can attest that version 3.1 is a MUCH
> IMPROVED release as opposed to version 3.0.

As a beta tester for 3.1 as well, I can tell you 3.1 is better than
3.0...But is 3.1 OR 3.0 better than 2.1.1/2.1.2?
Problems and inconsistencies I've noticed over the course of beta testing:
1) While they have made importing PhoneBooks much more consistent, they
leave off the ability to import min/max receive/send rates as well as
Conference ID and passwords which are reflector specific. The Cornell
version 0.92b2 allows importing of rates so each reflector can have
different settings. White Pine's import/export features work, but there's
currently no way to import rates, IDs, or passwords for the reflector

2) Along the same lines, 3.1 only looks at the names to determine if it's
a duplicate reflector. Ideally, you should be able to have the same name
in twice and CU should handle it. Cornell 0.92b2 doesn't have this
problem as it looks at the IP AND the ID to determine if it's a duplicate.
The name is meaningless.

3) While 3.1 fixes SOME of the problems with chat and attempts to make it
much easier to private chat, it still has some inconsistenices. If you
double click the bar above where you enter chat, it clicks off the private
chat. I don't see why they can't extend that and double click to return
to private chat as the 0.92b2 version does. It makes life a lot easier.
But they at least gave an easy keyboard shortcut to private chat with
people. Unfortunately, private chatting with WP 2.X people don't see
private chat as private chat. It comes across as public chat due to White
Pine's inability to put "<private>" or some indicator letting older
versions know it IS private chat. Ironic that 3.X isn't backwards
compatible with that respect.

4) An aesthic issue concerning private chat...I like to have my incoming
private text messages a different color so I can easily glance back at
them. Cornell has it, White Pine doesn't. (I still don't quite
understand why White Pine lacks what Cornell has since presumably White
Pine gets the source code to all the latest Cornell versions.)

> The program loads and executes much faster,

It appears to load much faster...It seems to me it loads in chunks. So if
you don't need the video display routines, it doesn't load them. Try
loading up 2.1.1/2.1.2 and compare the times it takes to load 3.1 and
connect somewhere. When 2.1.1/2.1.2 loads, it loads the entire program it
seems (I could be wrong though). I know with 3.1, I load it and it loads
up fast. Then I try connecting somewhere for the first time and the hard
drive churns away loading the rest of it.

> and has a lot of neat enhancements (including H.23
> compliance and the ability to connect to other H.23 compliant
> applications using the Meeting Point reflector software).

I'm not sure if you've used MeetingPoint's H.323 abilities...but from what
I've seen, it's a clunky way to claim compatibility. My guess is because
there aren't any standards for chat, no one chatting with H.323 clients
can see CU chat and vice-versa. Also, with H.323 clients, you never know
exactly WHO is watching you. H.323 is still new, but I'm waiting for
multipoint H.323 (last I heard, multipoint H.323 required multicasting).

Also keep in mind, H.323 compatibility ONLY works with the use of a
MeetingPoint reflector. There is no H.323 point to point compatibility.
White Pine has yet to release a listing of MeetingPoint reflectors capable
of accepting H.323 clients. A lot of the MeetingPoint reflectors I know
of aren't setup for H.323...so the "H.323 compatible" claim for 3.1 isn't
all what it's cracked up to be. The only good source I know of for MPCS
reflectors is my reflector scanner (oh..and thanks WP for fixing the
link to it :) It is a move in the right direction though.

> If you were
> not too thrilled with 3.0, give 3.1 a chance... it just might knock your
> socks off :)

Most of the people that I know who weren't thrilled with 3.0 had a strong
dislike of the new (and unimproved) interface. For those people, 3.1
hasn't changed much. It still takes you 5 steps where 2 were required in
2.1.1/2.1.2. I have yet to meet anyone that's used the contact cards for
anything other than storing reflectors or multicasting or the White Board.

One thing that's fairly nice is that they've fixed the horrendous
close-all bug that's plagued Enhanced CU since 2.0. The expandable
windows are nice too, though I miss the ability to write text on the
localvid and the ability to use "stay on top" for each vid. It would also
be nice if I could force the vid to a set size (160x120 for example).

For the people who are happy with 2.1.X's interface and can live without
the new H.263 video codec and the G.723 audio codecs (which, btw, can only
really be taken advantage of over RTP which only the MeetingPoint
reflector supports), than I'd stick with what you have.

3.1 is a nice change from 3.0 (especially with the private chatting,
though it's still not perfect), but it lacks some of the refinements.
They DID fix the slowness with the Quickcams though :)

I still have yet to hear any word back from White Pine concerning my audio
problems...I did get 2.1.2 installed and audio working thru the "Microsoft
Sound Mapper" which I can't seem to get 3.1 to recognize.

Well..that's enough of my rambling...back to fixing up the Refmarshal
proxy server. N10sive keeps on outdoing himself...now Refmarshal has
sound support for friend/enemies/watches entering the reflector.

--
streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |
streak@mail.utexas.edu       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |
streak@cs.utexas.edu         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~streak/ **************|