Re: Cu-Seeme x iVisit

Jason Williams (
Sat, 1 Nov 1997 19:01:10 -0600 (CST)

On Fri, 31 Oct 1997, Fabio Augusto wrote:
> The great problem with iVisit is, in my mind, its "no reflector"
> filosophy. When you start the program, you automatically are connected to a
> Directory Server located at Boxtop, which lists all users logged in and
> some multi-user conferences (users are alowed to create new conferences,
> both open acessable or password protected). In this fashion, iVisit seems
> to be more adequate to be a person-to-person communication product.

Except for the fact that when you do join a conference, you see everyone
connected to the conference and everyone sees you. I relate a conference
on iVisit to be very similar to a reflector on CU-SeeMe. You join a
reflector and you see everyone connected to it. You join an iVIsit
conference and you see everyone connected to it.
iVisit conferences with passwords might be considered private reflectors.
If you're on a reflector or a private reflector, you're still always
subject to people trying to direct connect to you unless you disable the
listener. With iVisit, you're always subject to people trying to connect
to you even if you are in a conference unless you select to hide yourself
in the directory server so people can't connect directly to you.

> This
> is, in my opinion, a negative drawback. When using Cu-Seeme, as soon as
> you're connected to a reflector, you have access to vids of up to 25
> persons, and (hopefully) have an easy way to meet and contact new people.
> With iVisit, most of time one have to demand personal connections with
> people in the Directory List

Also consider the drawback of reflectors themselves. They require lots of
bandwidth and are controlled by the elite few who do have the bandwidth
for it. iVisit uses a directory and conference server which doesn't use a
lot of bandwidth which means a lot more common individuals might have
access to run their own directory/conference server.

> I've been using this soft, I had most of these connections refused

That's quite similar to people using CU to just DC. If that all that were
possible, I imagine most of your connections would be refused as well.
But reflectors are there to be used. Just because they are there doesn't
mean they will be used (hence, all the empty reflectors). In the same
way, iVisit conferences are there to be used and allow multipoint
conferences really easily. Just because they aren't used doesn't mean
they don't serve a good purpose.

> The public conferences (the only
> way to use iVisit as multi-user videioconferencing soft) in the list where
> empty almost all time.

Conferences aren't the only way to use the multipoint conferencing
abilities of iVisit. You can always connect to multiple people through
the directory server as well as using "Connect to" to share your
connections with others. The daisy-chaining effect which doesn't require
a directory server at all.

> And, anyway, never found more than 60 persons
> availble in Directory List

This will change if/when iVisit becomes more popular. I remember back
when there were only about 20-30 reflectors in the WORLD. Most of them
were empty most of the time. Time has shown that CU-SeeMe has succeeded
and now there are plenty of reflectors to go to and I'd say hundreds of
people using CU-SeeMe at the same time.

> To conclude, in my opinion although iVisit is a very nice and well-written
> software when compared to Cu-Seeme, it will need changes in the program
> concepts to face Cu-Seeme as a popular videoconferencing product.

You mention the idea that it's a lacking program because it doesn't have
the notion of reflectors. I see that as a good thing. In the future, if
iVisit does take off, I doubt seriously you'll see "pay" directory servers
like you see pay reflectors. Directory servers don't require the
bandwidth reflectors do.

> Perhaps,
> when use of the program grows up new Directory Servers will be availble,
> with some fashions resembling the present reflectors (for example, "Adult"
> Directories, Tech Directories and so on). I really hope that - White Pine
> needs some concorrents in the market...

That's being worked on I hear. I know Boxtop is currently working on a
Solaris directory server with more platforms to come. My guess is that
directory servers will develop with adult and g-rated, private etc
ratings. iVisit has only been out a few months...wait and see what

--    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** **************|