[Juser] Adopting Partnerships and the second wide availability of Voice with XMPP

Jason Salaz jason at zenenet.com
Fri Oct 13 02:03:02 CDT 2006


As far as I'm aware, Google Talk was the first application in the XMPP
world with a wide and established userbase that enabled user-to-user
voice conversation, and eventually branching out with libjingle, more
and more users are on their way to being able to talk back, using any
XMPP client with Jingle capabilities.

It appears that LiveJournal has partnered with the fine folks at Gizmo
Project to enable a new userbase (namely: LiveJournal's) to have their
own branded client for instant messaging, and voice calls. The client
is presently called: "Gizmo Project for LJTalk"[1]
It is currently available for Mac (Universal Binary) and Windows 2000/XP users.
(Side note: Gizmo Project does have a Linux version of their core
client, but it appears that the LJTalk branded version does not.)
LiveJournal has a blurb of their own about the client[2], however it
requires a LiveJournal login (for some odd reason?) so it may be
inaccessible to some of you.
LiveJournal's page mostly talks about what it is, how to install it
and get setup, but it also mentions that all of Gizmo Project's core
features are present in this branded client.
Free pc-to-pc calls between all Gizmo Project/LJTalk users.
Free calls to any SIP number.
Inexpensive calls via Gizmo's Call Out service.
Personal PSTN numbers available via Gizmo's Call In service.
etc.

The interesting part about this is that Gizmo Project (formerly know
as SipPhone) is, as their previous name implies, a SIP and SIP to PSTN
platform.  All users of the normal Gizmo Project service, and now even
those that use their LiveJournal logins with the 'GP for LJ Talk'
client, get a SIP number that is universally usable by any SIP service
(FreeWorldDialup, VoIPPhone, Earthlink), and of course, all of those
individuals running a SIP server such as Asterisk, FreeSwitch, etc.

As soon as I learned of the GP for LJ Talk client's existence, I
immediately thought, "So what does this mean for LiveJournal and
Jingle?"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jingle has nothing to do with SIP, and
doesn't communicate in a similar manner (i.e. you can't initiate a
Jingle session to a SIP address, it must be a user over an XMPP
network).
Is this correct?

I know that Wildfire has the Asterisk-IM plugin and excellent
integration with the Spark Messaging client, so this XMPP/SIP client
consolidation is not "the first of it's kind", but LiveJournal does
have a VERY established userbase that can take advantage of this new
SIP offering.

As a side note, it does not appear that this service has branched out
to the other 6A (SixApart) properties, I cannot presently find any
mention of anything along the lines of even XMPP on Vox nor on
TypePad.

I just wanted to point out that I found it interesting that
LiveJournal, while developing their own modular XMPP server (named
djabberd[3]), decided to partner with another messaging/voice service
and go in just a slightly different direction than the general
movement of active XMPP users and developers.

Granted, this isn't a bad thing. SIP is a very abundant protocol, and
choice is not at all a bad thing.  The world doesn't need to rely
solely around Jingle (as much as Google might like the market share
:o), I kid!), but it may be interesting to see what becomes of this.

A few users on Gizmo Project's web forums have asked why they cannot
call Google Talk users with the Gizmo Project client, even after the
big press release that "Google and SipPhone Connect"[4], which
admittedly after clicking through, becomes: "Gizmo Project and Google
Talk become the first major networks to roll out full instant
messaging compatibility", though they make no mention of the XMPP
Federation in general. Users have had to be told time and time again
that "instant messaging is linked, voice chat is not".
Though, the touted relationship between these two bodies presents an
even more interesting idea, that SIP and Jingle may eventually reach a
middle ground of communication and compatibility that would enable
even more users and clients to easily talk to one another.

Are there plans for this? I don't believe I've missed anything, but
PLEASE DO correct me if I'm wrong.  The Jingle XEP[5] does make
mention of SIP, but does not concretely mention the extent of
interoperability.  Jingle does say that the capability does exist, but
is there anyone out there that is taking the steps (or has taken them)
to actually make it possible?

I see Jingle IAX Transporting[6], but that still doesn't easily
include communication with users of SIP Brokers like the
aforementioned Gizmo Project, FWD, and so forth.

All in all, the rest of this year and 2007 is going to be superbly
interesting in terms of pushing simple voice communication forward.
(Not to even mention the news of Google Talk and Skype opening up to
each other in some fashion[7].)

This user is looking forward to the coming months.

(Final note: For those unaware, GizmoProject DOES use XMPP for it's
text messaging service.  Their server address is chat.gizmoproject.com
, and if you sign up for a Gizmo Project account, you can use your SIP
number with any SIP client, like X-Lite, or even on Asterisk Servers,
and you can log into their chat server in any XMPP client.)

-------
[1] - http://gizmoproject.com/ljtalk
[2] - http://www.livejournal.com/chat/download/
[3] - http://danga.com:80/djabberd/
[4] - http://gizmoproject.com/press-google-gizmo.html
[5] - http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0166.html
[6] - http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0179.html
[7] - http://googletalk.blogspot.com/2006/08/talking-with-skype.html



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