WebRTC is heading into this battlefield. So far the standards groups have managed to dodge the issue by leaving the whole matter of signalling as an exercise to the implementor.
My first impression was of having arrived on the set (or in) an early George Lucas film (THX 1138) – it was very white, white sofas, white carpet, white ceiling.
Perhaps as a result of this thought, I was on the lookout for signs of a dystopian future.
There really were plenty to be had.
The lesson here is “Data Trumps Intuitions” . Although if I’m honest we also picked our business model because it was easy to explain to some local risk averse VCs. They didn’t give us the money but we stuck with that plan.
My guess is that Skype had a change of heart between the project’s announcement and beta. So Skype deliberately hobbled SFA. What were they scared of ? Openness I think.
Users from all three of the ‘islands’ in the VoIP world (SIP, Skype and GoogleTalk) could all participate on an equal basis in a conference about VoIP. Not only that, but their IM messages were also exchanged freely, all with the correct attribution.
Contrast Digium’s careful step-by-step community involvement in the design of Asterisk Scalable Communications Framework with the way Skype treats their ecosystem (like Fring and Nimbuzz )
An increasing number of Skype’s endpoints don’t fully interoperate.