Query for Interest: Netflix and Skype (Need Coders)
I am going to start this thread by stating that this is not for complaining about the lack Skype or Netflix. This is rather for those who HAVE THE SKILLS and interest to investigate alternative approaches to the problems in the hopes of coming up with an external answer.
What I propose is that we create two projects, one to investigate alternative approaches to each Netflix and Skype. There seems to be some search into solutions for each but they mostly seem to be through the porting of android apps.
What I feel can be looked at is this:
Skype: Audio calls only. Can this be accomplished through the SkypeKit (is there Android or just Desktop Linux tools?) or based off other compatible open source development? Can it be done through the creation of a new Android app that is ported over? Sounds like there has been limited success with repackaging andriod skype apps so it gives me hope.
Netflix: A Silverlight Browser approach. There has been work on open source silver light libraries for Android. While these are likely not able to be adapted to any of the actual PB development environments can an Android based browser be created to incorporate the libraries and be packed over to the PB? Can we integrate adaptive solutions to prevent Netflix from determining that it is a playbook?
Now there may be a number of people that think I am way out to lunch on this and I'm sure they will list any number of reasons why they feel so; I may agree with them and I may be missing some huge points preventing this. So be it, let's figure that out. I am interested in these apps and am tired of the disorganized threads that just leads to troll wars. I would like to see if there are alternative answers.
I will state up front that I do not intend to work on development of this. I have a CS degree and 13 years IS experience but my development is way beyond rusty; I am data admin, but I am also an experienced BA and can co-ordinate. I'll be happy to share my details with anyone actually interested and able to work on this. If anyone thinks they are better suited to co-ordinate this I will be happy to hand it over.
I would really like to hear from any interested developers via PM and we will get things organized.
If nothing else if we find none of it is plausible we can say so and people can go back to their troll wars if they really want.
Please note: I know there is a great deal of interest in this. Please only contact me if you actually have a skill-set that can contribute. ie: Android App developer, PB app developer, Linux programming experience, etc, etc, etc. Sorry, teaching eager parties how to do any of this is not part of the projects.
ugh...can't believe the trolling I am setting myself up for on this.
- 03-13-12, 07:45 PM #2
As far as the Android porting goes, there are those who report that Android Netflix now works in every way EXCEPT for the actual video playback. I think it could be possible to get it working, but I believe it would only be really possible for rooted PlayBooks.
As for the Skype app that was ported, the only functionality available is im. Essentially you can login, and text chat with your friends on Skype, but nothing more. Also, microphone and camera use is not supported by the Android app player, so unless (again) you have a rooted PlayBook, and someone figures out a way to actually hack the android player and get the camera and microphone working, it doesn't look good. Also, I'm not sure it would work even if we had camera and microphone support, simply because of the access to the Skype servers (I just got a decent idea for testing this theory, and I'll send you an update after I do).
I am however, intrigued by the idea of using SkypeKit. I've been wondering if there was some way to build a Skype app with SkypeKit myself, but it's far too complicated for me to attempt, so if there's anyone with enough developing experience that would like to tell us whether or not this is viable, I'd love to hear it.
Thanks Zeth. My thought is that the android versions are always going to be an issue. Even if someone ports them from android it wouldn't take much for he companies to disable them again. I am interested in anything you get working though.
Netflix doesn't require much...aside from silverlight compatibility. With the right people I do not believe it would take much to confirm if this is possible or not. A browser that can spoof its id and be SL compatible gives a good chance of long term compatibility.
If Skype is making a development kit available, then we would be remiss to not see what it could do.
My goals for these projects are simple. First to investigate the possibility of external workarounds. Second, to create a bar that provides basic, but good functionality. Finally, to make the basics of the solutions available to other developers to work with.
Send me a PM with your findings
Do you know if that applies to the Silk codec as well? My goal is for voice at this point.
Add: can anyone recommend a good cross platform open source alternative just in case?
Last edited by jamesjmunro; 03-13-12 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Add open source alternative question
- 03-13-12, 10:44 PM #6
I'm still hoping that in the near future Netflix stops PC video transport via Silverlight and adopts HTML5. It's far superior anyway and then no app would be needed for PlayBook users. Hulu uses flash and still blocks the PlayBook though so even if they made this transition, we still might be shunned. I'm not going to start raving about how we still don't have these services as it's just counter productive and very old news. But even with my level of patience, I've had enough.
At this point, we the users will eventually find a way to get the services we want on our devices, and they have to expect that it's coming and that once that solution is discovered, it will spread. Cheers to you for the effort and best of luck. There are many here that will cheer and I'll be one of them.
Well said, and I'll raise my glass to the power of the people.
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
03-13-12, 11:00 PM #7
- 12,764 Posts
- Optional, but not needed.
I am very interested in the development and coding to get Skype on the playbook by/via any means necessary. I have no coding/hacking/developing skills, but it wouldn't hurt to try out some wickedly awesome beta software that's experimentable on my playbook to help out. If there is any bugs, I would post them.
- CrackBerry User
03-13-12, 11:03 PM #8
- 72 Posts
Can I use SkypeKit to develop applications for mobile devices?
At present, you cannot use SkypeKit to develop applications for mobile devices. This is because, unlike standard devices and desktop applications, mobile devices interact with mobile phone network operators in ways that are difficult to predict.
Until we work out the details of our policy with carriers and mobile handsets, our development and distribution agreements prohibit the use of SkypeKit in mobile devices.
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
03-13-12, 11:10 PM #9
- 12,764 Posts
- Optional, but not needed.
- CrackBerry User
03-13-12, 11:46 PM #10
- 81 Posts
From the information I can gather, you can use SkypeKit to program in Qt. Qt is a framework that you can write Native Playbook apps in. It also sounds like there is Qt samples in the Skype of Desktop SDK.
This post lays out the basic structure of the app.
- 03-14-12, 12:17 AM #11
Building video chat "universal" app.
Also, I believe ReelPortal is not open source, but it's supposed to be quite good. Can't test it out right now because my PlayBook's on and off wifi issues are acting up (going to have to call customer support and reinstall the core drivers, what a hassle. :P), but the app is on app world and you can chat to the playbook via a pc web browser at reelportal.com
Hope that helps!
- 03-14-12, 12:40 AM #13
https://imo.im/ but it frankly just doesn't really work.
I know there are likely a good number of people who are laughing to themselves over this as it is likely a pipe dream; I can't argue with that. What I can do though is take a step away from the whining and the trolling and actually make an effort. I guesstimate these ideas to have at least a 90% chance of failure, but does it really hurt to try? Maybe we'll learn something cool in the meantime.
Rootbrian, I appreciate the enthusiasm, but there are a few things I would like people to understand. There is an extremely high chance for failure in this; in fact it is mostly guaranteed. Not a ringing endorsement for me to convince people to join with, but like me I find many in the IT fields love to be handed a puzzle and then be given a chance to run it into the ground before admitting defeat. If we can actually get a proof of concept I will be amazed and overjoyed. Saying that, let's please not fill the thread with the "cool idea" posts and volunteering to be beta testers yet. Also, we are not going to counter Skype rules on this. This is a professional platform and we are not going to peeve-off the partners we want or screwing their relationship with RIM. Show support by thanking the guys that contribute.
Anyone can sit back and wait for someone else to to solve their problems. I call them iPhad users because they will sit back and wait for someone to tell them how they should do it, or that they just don't need it. I don't wait for people to tell me how to do something and especially whether or not I need something. It is my job to get creative, roll up my sleeves, and fix the problem.
Zeth, the bit about the Cellular connection was something I had seen in another forum which is what got me thinking the playbook may be able to slip through. We may be able to ensure compliance through code so that it can only connect through the PB's WiFi connection. I'll get off an email or two and see what they say.
The HTML5 cross platform project in the thread mentioned looks interesting. I withdraw my question concerning cross platform and will return my concept back to strictly dealing with Skype audio plausibility. Willie, thanks for pointing out the QT connection.
The use of a Silverlight opensource alternative has caught the interest of one of my co-workers who is one of our developers. If I can drag him away from his own personal project (involving some other online streaming) I hope to put him in touch with at least one of the SL alternative groups by the end of the week. He isn't an app programmer though so I would love to find people experience in those areas to work with him. I also have another co-worker who is friends with one of the app developers for our local telco; he will contact his friend to set-up an introduction. I will also PM a few of developers here on the forums to see if I can spark some interest.
Last edited by jamesjmunro; 03-14-12 at 11:22 AM.
- 03-14-12, 12:42 PM #18
- 03-14-12, 12:51 PM #19
something that may help...
Maybe instead of using Netflix or trying to get ONE alternative to it you can somehow create an app that 'searches' for what you want and gives you alternative links on various sites which then can be streamed using flash. I know there are websites like this, but maybe apps would be easier to navigate and compile all the data in a better way.
- CrackBerry Abuser
03-14-12, 01:01 PM #21
- 447 Posts
Howdy james. I am posting to comfirm my intent to help out on this project.
I bring along varying levels of skills in the following languages:
Ruby on Rails
I haven't exactly read over this forum in it's entirety, it was just brought to my attention by pkcable.
PM me with whatever you need, and I will help out.
- 03-14-12, 01:15 PM #22
I agree that I don't want to step on any toes with Skype, but I think based on the information presented so far, if someone could manage to get some sort of promising data on a SkypeKit built version of Skype for the PlayBook, I think we'd be safe to move forward with it without breaching any rules. I'll help in any way that I can but to be honest I have absolutely no coding skills. It's something I want to learn but I don't think wishes and good will are going to get me far, or help much with this project. :P I wish I could be me useful but it's looking I can really just offer opinions.
Severino, great idea and as cable pointed out there is someone working on exactly what you suggested. I am a big fan of it.
I will attempt to keep the scope of these projects to Netflix and Skype themselves. There are already a good number of alternatives being considered and I wish all those people the best of luck and look forward to them. The idea is to attempt to take care of these specific issues.
Cable...nice find with Justin. Can always use another Canadian Prairie boy to help "Get 'er done". (Maybe that's Rim's issue? Not enough Prairie boys.)
Justin, PM coming your way soon.
Edit: Woah now people Again, I really appreciate the enthusiasm but I am not going to organize this all on the forum. Right now I am looking for my starting group(s). Let's not get into making groups or assigning out tasks randomly, I would like to keep our information organized and the path of everyone involved clear. If you want to be involved then post like jtokarchuk did and then I will contact you via PM and we will move the work to the appropriate forums. Sorry Blue, but a BBM group is just not a method I will be using as primary organization on this.
Cable: "Idea people and beta testers are need too! My skills limit me in this way also." You are correct, but I will put out the call when they are required. It is nothing against the enthusiasm, I just don't want to lose potential developers in a thread of beta testers.
Last edited by jamesjmunro; 03-14-12 at 02:00 PM.
- 03-14-12, 01:50 PM #24
I probably won't be much help lol, my coding is limited to self taught stuff between classes. Nonetheless, I'm proficient in html, I can do some web hosting/server management, and I can sure as heck work my way around a linux machine; my skills are hereby pledged to the project.
- 03-14-12, 02:08 PM #25
I'm with James let him handle the details. For my part I pledge to help with the recruitment (which I've mostly already done) of developers/programmers, and to help with any testing needs. Consider me a VERY savvy PB and PC user. What they used to call a "power" user back in the day.