Re: White Pine CU 3.1.1 and Other CU's

Jason Williams (streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu)
Mon, 25 May 1998 03:11:26 -0500 (CDT)


On Sat, 23 May 1998, Scott Breseke wrote:
> I use White Pine's CU client v3.1.1 and find it to work
> *perfectly*.......for both video and audio.......for both ref conferencing
> (on MPCS) and dc's.

So you've TRIED the others? 2.1.X and the new color Cornell?
It's hard to say "it works perfectly!" without trying all of them and then
deciding.

> The audio in particular for the 3.1.1 client can't be
> beat by any other vid-conferencing software I've tried.

Oddly enough, most videoconferencing packages out there (iVisit, Internet
Phone, Netmeeting, White Pine's version) are designed around voice
communications. One thing I enjoy doing with the Cornell version is
playing music. Music doesn't come across very well with the lower
bandwidth codecs that 3.1 has. Delta-Mod seems to work great..Intel DVI
works better with bandwidth.

> There's no breakup of the sound at all.

To me, breaking up of the audio is a moot point if everything is muffled.
I've found the 2.4kbps codec to be too muffled. It's not broken up, but
it's harder to understand.

> The GUI is great.

It's great as long as you don't mind several more mouse clicks to
accomplish the same thing.

> All the features are very well thought out and implemented.

Except the GUI glitches... try clicking the icon to save the chat...then
click cancel....click the icon to save again.. Where did the logfile go?
:) One of the many bugs I reported as a beta tester and never heard back
from White Pine.

> Folks get used to certain ways of doing things and don't like to
> change.............and people *do* very much like free
> things...........even if it means depriving others of the reward they
> are due.

I believe you've missed out on a lot of the discussions of why people
dislike 3.X. For me at least, it's not a matter of not liking change.
When change is positive and makes life simpler then I embrace it. 3.X
does NOT make my life easier and I don't consider it positive outside of
several benefits.

I've congratulated White Pine in the past for the ability to resize video
windows..and the support for more capture devices...the other stuff just
isn't used.

Tell me...have you used the Whiteboard often? How about multicast
connections? Or contact cards (with graphics) as a means of contacting
people (not refs) As I see it, that's the main things 3.X has added on
top of the GUI. White Pine never did answer my email with one question in
it: "Why did the GUI change from 2.1.X?". Most of the "changes" could
have easily been made on top of the 2.1.X interface.

> But I would like to point out, that if you use the White Pine 3.1.1 client
> and stay on Meeting Point Conference Server reflectors...........all works
> very fine.............super fine..............perfect.............no
> complaints............ It's great.

That's the thing...3.X has ALWAYS worked great on MPCS...unfortunately,
3.1 sometimes refuses to work on anything. If you're happy dealing with
bugs in the software with workarounds to use a small number of reflectors,
by all means enjoy it. I prefer to connect with ALL types of reflectors
and clients.

> I tried to use the 3.1 client to go on a White Pine 2.1 ref a couple of
> months ago........and the folks with the White Pine 2.1.1 client said my
> vid wasn't coming in for them and praised their 2.1.1 version. I just said
> to myself, "Fine..........I don't need this ref. I'll just go back to the
> Meeting Point Conference Server refs."

Saying "fine, I'll put up with the bugs in my software so that others that
put up with the bugs in the same version can see me" seems to work for
you. Actually, it's a problem with the client, not the reflector. Even
on MPCS, people using 2.1.X wouldn't be able to see you. Your praises of
MPCS and 3.1 fall apart then.

> I can understand that White Pine 2.1 ref worked perfectly for those with
> the White Pine 2.1.1 client.

The 2.1 reflector works fine for ALL clients...as does MPCS and the
Enhanced Reflector.

> After all........it was designed for it wasn't it?

No..the development teams are seperate. The close bond between the
reflector and the client didn't come about till 3.X with the use of RTP in
MPCS and then other "bandwidth management tweaks" between 3.X and the MPCS
server.

> When using the White Pine 3.1.1 client I've noticed that the Meeting
> Point Conference Server refs really outperform the White Pine 2.1 refs
> for speed of vid.

I agree..this is a good thing...That's one reason why I love MPCS. It
DOES handle multiple clients a bit better. I applaud White Pine for this.
It's unfortunate though that few will end up with MPCS (only two platforms
are supported due to restrictions in the availability of their T.120
server) and costs a lot. It's nice to see the 3.X clients OPTIMIZED for
MPCS servers. But they also seem to BREAK on anything other than MPCS at
times. Luckily, this is still being addressed (as far as I know).

> Also those on a MPCS ref can set their vid quality at 40-70% as opposed
> to having to set vid quality to 15-25% to be seen by others like they
> often have to do on a White Pine 2.1 ref.

This is another positive thing..bandwidth management again. WIth the 2.1
reflector, you can use 40-70% quality as well but if anyone else has yours
and other vids open, it will be REALLY slow. (assuming modem connections)

> Of course some people like Cornell version best and some like White Pine's
> 2.1.1 client best. Same thing with refs. Different preferences.

It's not quite the same. The White Pine 2.X clients are available on
Win95 and Win3.X. The White Pine 3.X and Cornell 0.9X/1.0 clients are
available for Win95 only. That means if you are using Win95/NT, upgrading
from 2.X to 3.X/Cornell 0.9X/1.0 isn't a problem. Since the number of
Win3.X users is dwindling, the lack of support for Win3.X doesn't affect
mass numbers of people.

Contrast this to the 2.1 reflector and MPCS. The 2.1 reflector is
available on Win95, NT, AIX, BSD, Digital Unix, HP-UX, Irix, Linux, OSF1,
Solaris 2.4/2.5, and SunOs 4.1. MPCS is available on WinNT and Solaris
2.5/2.6 ONLY. That means if you run anything OTHER than NT or Solaris,
you have NO OPTION to upgrade to MPCS. This leaves out a large number of
people that would probably want to upgrade to MPCS but can't due to lack
of support.

It may be an matter of preference for the client, but the reflector is a
whole other issue. Not to mention the price differences between the 2.1
reflector and MPCS which I won't get into (happy Gary? :))

> Don't worry about the White Pine complaints, Wayne. This is a Cornell list.
> I imagine if this list were sponsored and run by White Pine we'd be seeing
> lotsa complaints about the Cornell version ( but *I* wouldn't complain
> about it).

I doubt it. The people complaining would most likely complain no matter
who sponsored the list. A bad product is a bad product no matter who
makes it. :) I seem to vaguely recall a few years ago when the first 2.0
WP client was coming out that White Pine setup an "Enhanced CU-seeMe
listserv". Perhaps someone at White Pine can shed some light on
if it's still in existence.

> It's been very nice to see all the input by the CU-veterans out there who
> have been on a long time such as Spacer and Streak and Squeek. I learn lots
> from it. Thanks guys.

It's been nice to have some time to give input. I never subscribed to the
list before because I was afraid I'd be getting 50+ messages a day from it
and couldn't keep up. As it is, I rarely get more than 10-15 messages a
day from it.

--
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/ **************|