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The Icon Bar: News and features: Grapevine Development "Not Stagnant"
 

Grapevine Development "Not Stagnant"

Posted by Andrew Duffell on 15:42, 25/10/2005 | , ,
 
Grapevine IRCRecently there has been a lot of discussion on the Grapevine mailing list about lack of recent releases of the 3 in 1 MSN, ICQ and IRC client.

Philip Hardy's MSN clientOne user commented "Personally I would love to see more of the ICQ protocol's functionality added. I would also prefer Grapevine to feel more "RISC OSy" and I think in this respect, as others have suggested, lessons can be learnt from the very elegantly designed "MSNMessenger" by Philip Hardy (http://www.phardy.karoo.net/MSNMess/). The current design and icon set of Grapevine is, quite frankly, ugly."

Other users also commented on the ugly design of the toolbar icons and smileys as-well as the ease of use of the application. Alan Wrigley, developer of Grapevine said that in response to the comments on oversized toolbar icons that duplicate the window's menu, "This is quite normal for RISC OS applications."

Also, Microsofts MSN client has moved on substantionally in terms of features compared to Grapevine.

We got in touch with Andrew Rawnsley from R-Comp who explained that "development is pretty expensive since the author is salaried (probably one of the few remaining salaried RISC OS developers!)"

As most Grapevine users know "R-Comp have an unreleased 2.05
version with a few enhancements", but ICQ problems have prevented this from release. He informed us that although development is currently slow it is not stagnant.

R-Comp are currently deciding what to do next: "Do we add another protocol (eg. AOL or Skype) or do we add bells and whistles to the MSN support. How important really ARE pictures and additional texts? I guess some of it could be added quite quickly."
 

  Grapevine Development "Not Stagnant"
  sa110_mk (23:21 25/10/2005)
  epistaxsis (00:04 26/10/2005)
    arawnsley (00:24 26/10/2005)
      rmac (03:03 26/10/2005)
        rich (08:57 26/10/2005)
          sa110_mk (09:28 26/10/2005)
            rich (14:39 26/10/2005)
              ad (14:44 26/10/2005)
                [mentat] (23:27 26/10/2005)
                  sa110_mk (13:19 27/10/2005)
                    snig (21:00 27/10/2005)
                      ad (22:16 27/10/2005)
                        arawnsley (00:01 28/10/2005)
                          rmac (01:19 28/10/2005)
                            arawnsley (09:47 29/10/2005)
                              arawnsley (09:50 29/10/2005)
                                Stan (16:00 30/10/2005)
                                  sa110_mk (08:58 31/10/2005)
                                    hEgelia (12:32 11/11/2005)
                                      arawnsley (17:32 12/11/2005)
                                        ad (18:02 16/11/2005)
                                          arawnsley (00:21 17/11/2005)
 
Paul Stewart Message #93958, posted by sa110_mk at 23:21, 25/10/2005
Member
Posts: 144
Yes, I agree. The look and feel of Grapevine is quite backward. It does not suggest a professional commerical application.

As for what to add next, I would like to see the "bells and whistles" of MSN support added. Then move onto adding the "bells and whistles" to the other currently supported protocols before adding any new ones.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
keith dunlop Message #93959, posted by epistaxsis at 00:04, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93958
epistaxsis

Posts: 159
GV2 is good

However on the MSN side the issue of file transfer needs sorting - doesn't work here on ADSL :-(

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #93960, posted by arawnsley at 00:24, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93959
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
MSN file transfer doesn't like routers period. Even on windows, it can be very hard to get it to work. Strictly it needs uPnP and a rounter that does uPnP. I don't think there's any uPnP support for RISC OS.

However, the root problem is that the comp needs to know your remote (ISP assigned) IP address, in order to tell your buddy the address. If you read the instructions supplied with grapevine, and open the right ports on your router, it should be OK. Indeed, many of the Grapevine release versions were sent backwards and forwards (between programmer and myself) via Grapevine/MSN.

Of course, it is possible MS may have changed something and broken it again recently. I can't test quickly from where I am.

Basically, because the remote user actually has to connect to your comp, its always going to be foul if you're behind any kind of firewall/NAT.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Ross McGuinness Message #93961, posted by rmac at 03:03, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93960
Member
Posts: 5
Is this the appropriate vehicle for VoIP? If so surely that is a vital move as telephone calls begin to be made more and more on the internet.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #93962, posted by rich at 08:57, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93961
Rich
Webmaster
The Icon Bar

Posts: 6765
I would have thought that VoIP would suffer from the same problems as file transfer - someone has to connect to your computer to call you. From what I understand about the way Skype works, it routes via other copies of the software in a P2P manner to help alleviate this.

Having said that, I haven't had to change any of my firewall rules to get MSN Messenger (or Skype!) working in various locations using multiple machines. Getting video conferencing with sound working through a caching proxy is tough, but everything else has "just worked".

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Stewart Message #93963, posted by sa110_mk at 09:28, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93962
Member
Posts: 144
Talking about Video Conferencing. Isn't it a little overdue on RISC OS. Perhaps that could be implemented in the next version of Grapevine. Surely both the Iyonix and A9home have the grunt for such an application.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #93964, posted by rich at 14:39, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93963
Rich
Webmaster
The Icon Bar

Posts: 6765
I'm not so sure - you'd have to do realtime audio/video encoding *and* decoding simultaneously, and that's before you even start talking about shovelling it down a network pipe. True, the size of the actual picture could be quite small compared to, say, DVD playing, and sound quality could be similarly reduced, but we're talking about machines with significantly less raw CPU grunt than the average PC.

On the other hand, if someone could do Voice over IP on a StrongARM Risc PC *and* have a way of recording both sides of the conversation, I'd be very interested :) Pity I have no microphone input mind you. I do have Simtec USB and a nice USB headset with microphone though...

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Duffell Message #93965, posted by ad at 14:44, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93964
ad

Posts: 3229
Are there any sound cards for the Risc PC that have extra inputs on them?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
I don't have tourettes you're just a cun Message #93966, posted by [mentat] at 23:27, 26/10/2005, in reply to message #93965
[mentat]Fear is the mind-killer
Posts: 6266
Does the latest version of GV allow "nudges" ?

This is blatantly the most important feature of messenger...

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Stewart Message #93967, posted by sa110_mk at 13:19, 27/10/2005, in reply to message #93966
Member
Posts: 144
Yes. Nudges are great in MSN. Certainly a feature needed for Grapevine.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Owen Griffin Message #93968, posted by snig at 21:00, 27/10/2005, in reply to message #93967
Member
Posts: 44
I'm an owner of GV2 but I've never even heard of the mailing list! Is it an R-Comp mailing list, or has some eager user set it up?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Duffell Message #93969, posted by ad at 22:16, 27/10/2005, in reply to message #93968
ad

Posts: 3229
See http://www.iconbar.com/comms/mailinglists/
I assume it is a R-Comp one, but am not certain.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #93970, posted by arawnsley at 00:01, 28/10/2005, in reply to message #93969
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
It's not an R-Comp one (we don't run mailing lists ourselves, as we prefer direct email support) but I think the programmer is part of the mailing list, so it isn't totally unofficial!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Ross McGuinness Message #93971, posted by rmac at 01:19, 28/10/2005, in reply to message #93970
Member
Posts: 5
In reply to Rich:
With more and more users having broadband connections (cable, copper and satellite) and leaving their machines always on (mine has been for nine years as it serves as a fax machine as well) the VoIP usage will grow. Already here in Australia (with a limited number of ISP's providing access, with VoIP, through to conventional land lines) usage is climbing rapidly.

The lack of comment by the suggestion of accomodating VoIP in the RISC OS world is surprising.

I'm currently awaiting a two way satellite based broadband connection that will be shared with three or four neighbours. The company offering this is a telephony based one working towards VoIP through this connection. It is a case of when rather than if.

This service (with VoIP) would allow me to release one of my copper services which is unreliable. Due to lightning strikes our trunk line is damaged, deteriorating and unlikely to be replaced any time soon as it is a low priority.

Wouldn't it be great to be at the vanguard of a major change rather than at the tail.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #93972, posted by arawnsley at 09:47, 29/10/2005, in reply to message #93971
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
VOIP on RISC OS is tricky for two reasons. Firstly, the protocols used for this tend to be unpublished in many cases. I believe that things may be openning up in this regard, but there are still a mish-mash of standards. The popular Skype doesn't (as far as I know) conform to the protocols used by more general VOIP suppliers. Similarly for MSN etc.

Assuming this is surmountable (and it probably is) we're then back to the usual problem that sound recording on RISC OS is a joke. There's no OS-level support for audio input/mixing and never has been. This would mean having to re-invent the wheel (as every other audio recording app has had to!) I guess the logical thing would be to support the Iyonix, but that's a small potential market. Admitedly if it became popular, ten it would be definately worthwhile.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #93973, posted by arawnsley at 09:50, 29/10/2005, in reply to message #93972
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
erm in the last sentence "ten" should read "then". Quick back of a postcard calculation. If we assume 4 months work, for paid programmer, it'd need about 200 copies of a GV-priced program/upgrade, so about a third of Iyonix users would need to purchase. Gulp! Let's hope its quicker than 4 months!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Stan Message #93974, posted at 16:00, 30/10/2005, in reply to message #93973
Unregistered user arawnsley
Have you got a VOIP protocol in mind? If so which one?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Stewart Message #93975, posted by sa110_mk at 08:58, 31/10/2005, in reply to message #93974
Member
Posts: 144
Don't forget the A9home also has a microphone in socket in it. So when it is eventually released, you will also have a market there.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
hEgelia Message #93976, posted at 12:32, 11/11/2005, in reply to message #93975
Unregistered user I'm a GV2 owner as well and I'd love to see it developed further. For me, it is easily as important as e-mail, often it's even more important. I use the MSN client the most by far and ofcourse would like that part of GV2 to be improved. The design of GV2 is indeed lacking and could do with a make-over. As discussed on the mailing-list, GV2 could very well learn from Philip Hardy's client. I've already supplied a (arguably) nicer set of emoticons to the programmer. Let's hope RCI approves them to be included in the next release, as it features all currently supported emoticons.

So, IMHO, GV2 is mostly lacking in the GUI department, as the functionality is pretty decent. It would be nice if some more recent MSN "bells & whistles" could be added though...

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #93977, posted by arawnsley at 17:32, 12/11/2005, in reply to message #93976
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
hEgalia - could you email me any new graphics to rcomp at rcomp.co.uk please, as I don't think I have seen them.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Duffell Message #93978, posted by ad at 18:02, 16/11/2005, in reply to message #93977
ad

Posts: 3229
[b]Update (16th November):[/b] It seems that though this article says that Alan said it was normal for RISC OS apps to have oversize toolbar icons, he meant that it was normal for toolbar functionality to be duplicated in the window's menu
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #93979, posted by arawnsley at 00:21, 17/11/2005, in reply to message #93978
R-Comp chap
Posts: 459
Update - the ICQ problem in 2.05 has been tracked to changes in socket handling introduced in that version. As such, it is hoped that we can release this shortly once resolved.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Grapevine Development "Not Stagnant"