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Improving WebRTC video conferencing

From: Gerald Jay Sussman
Subject: Improving WebRTC video conferencing
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 09:57:49 -0400
User-agent: IMAIL/1.21; Edwin/3.116; MIT-Scheme/9.2

Hello Yasuaki Kudo,

You have a noble idea, but please be more careful: if you try to
generalize our goal that much you dilute it so it is no longer clear.
For example, Wikipedia is easily included in your "Societal Knowledge
Sharing" goal.  They do a great job, but their work should not be part
of our goal.

Our goal should be more focussed: to provide excellent Free/Libre
Software support for interpersonal communication, with a special
emphasis on educational applications.  This includes all the kinds of
help that teachers need to enable and enhance communication with
students and colleagues.  Such technology will be useful for many
other applications, such as business meetings and government
committees, as well as for family gatherings.  It must obey the four
freedoms, but to support education it must also be private, when
necessary, and be secure enough to protect students' data and

If there are other goals that we should address, perhaps we should
make projects that address them with similar focus, but we should not
generalize any one project to be all possible good things, because
that is not an effective strategy.

Gerald Jay Sussman

> Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:09:21 +0900
> From: Yasuaki Kudo <>
> Or maybe another way to put it, I think we are looking at the need shift the 
> focus from "Free Software" to
> "Societal Knowledge Sharing", the former being a constituent of the latter.
> Of course, there is even a higher goal of planetary brotherhood 😄, but I 
> think we can really
> broaden and deepen the movement if we focus on sharing knowledge - we must 
> remove the information asymmetry
> which leads to all sorts of problems...
> If we focus on getting everybody more educated and and make free software 
> programs easier to understand for
> new comers, we will accelerate the speed of development.
> > On Jul 15, 2020, at 12:48, Yasuaki Kudo <> wrote:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I think one way, and this is not just for WebRTC, is to create a huge 
> > volunteer organization to analyze,
> > document and add tests to existing free software.
> > 
> > We can make it a fun, inclusive and participatory project, say a 
> > documentation challenge?  If thousands of
> > volunteers do this it will be much easier to start improving software,  I 
> > am sure 😄
> > 
> > Yasu
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >>>> On Jul 15, 2020, at 03:38, Ian Kelling <> wrote:
> >>> 
> >>> Jim Garrett <> writes:
> >>> 
> >>> I've been trying out various Jitsi Meet instances (including the
> >>> FSF's) and BigBlueButton (BBB) instances and it seems that both could
> >>> use some improvement.  I think the issue concerns WebRTC but I don't
> >>> know how to move forward.  I think we're currently failing to match
> >>> Zoom in quality and we need to figure out how to address the issues
> >>> below.
> >>> 
> >>> WebRTC ("Web real-time communications") is a standard implemented in
> >>> many browsers for interacting with the camera, microphone, and also
> >>> handling signal processing and encoding/decoding.  I'm not an
> >>> expert, but it seems that Jitsi Meet and BBB are not really handling
> >>> the low-level stuff.  So when things don't work, or don't work well
> >>> enough, how does one fix it?  How do we even diagnose it, when we have
> >>> a variety of browsers and browser versions?
> >> 
> >> I suppose those are questions for the projects and the browsers. There's
> >> also something like GNU Jami which works outside the browser.
> >> 
> >>> There's a question of how we can gather user data for important
> >>> software improvement efforts while respecting privacy (if in fact data
> >>> logging is the way to address these issues).  Any thoughts on how to
> >>> manage this?
> >> 
> >> I think it depends on the exact circumstances. Thanks for sharing.
> >> 
> >>> 
> >>> Thanks for your thoughts.
> >>> 
> >>> -Jim Garrett
> > 
> > 

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