[teampractices] Hangout alternative: appear.in

Sumana Harihareswara sumanah at wikimedia.org
Wed Feb 19 21:17:04 UTC 2014

http://appear.in/ is a WebRTC videoconferencing site hosted by Norwegian
telcom Telenor. It works absolutely fine for people on Linux. Although the
source code isn't openly licensed, appear.in doesn't require that the user
install a proprietary plugin, so it's better on that count than Hangout.
And, like chatb.org, it does not demand a login.

* ability to "claim" a room, kick people out, etc.
* not Google
* public API http://appearin.github.io/ - and they're open to feature

* only works right now in recent Firefox, Chrome, and Opera
* screensharing only works in recent Chrome versions
* no built-in video capture
* They recommend keeping conferences at <9 participants, "as this can cause
the application to crash because of the number of connections being handled
by the browser. The main limiting factor is the bandwidth of the
participants, as everything is streamed peer to peer."

I'm going to try using appear.in for more of my ad hoc and 1:1 videochats.

Sumana Harihareswara
Engineering Community Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
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