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Communications Open Source Programming Linux

Skype Releases Open SDK 108

An anonymous reader writes "SkypeKit gives Linux developers access to core functionality, allowing Linux developers to add video, calling, and instant messaging features to desktop applications. The SDK also comes with the freshly royalty-free SILK codec for high-end audio. Skype is hoping that the inclusion of SILK will popularize the codec, extending its reach. Currently, the SkypeKit beta is only available for Linux on an invite-only basis, with Windows and Mac versions planned in coming weeks. The SDK does not cover Android or Mac, an odd choice considering the announcement of SkypeKit championed itself for extending the functionality of Skype to multiple platforms and devices. Including smartphones in the SDK seems like an obvious move." Ars Technica has a rundown, too.
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Skype Releases Open SDK

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  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:07PM (#32670868) Homepage

    Skype has products that they charge by the minute for.

    Every single thing they do doesn't have to be a profit center. Some of it can just help build the brand.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:10PM (#32670922) Journal
    Given that their definition of "open" seems to be "Why yes, you are welcome to make your application dependent on our proprietary binary and network through this set of defined interfaces, at least on such platforms as we have blessed for the purpose." I'm assuming that Skype is operating on the assumption that they will pick up some additional customers for their commercial offerings who might have been put off by having to use the Skype client itself.

    It is also possible, given the omission of android, that they also hope to have their embedded version be something that companies have to pay for in order to integrate with their products(just as Flash was free on the desktop but licensed for inclusion in embedded devices, back before steve stole their lunch money)
  • by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) <> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:15PM (#32670970)

    Well you see, the definition of open can mean different things to different people. To you it means open, to skype it means avoiding the question.

  • by StayFrosty ( 1521445 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:44PM (#32671266)

    This is a win for Skype because they get some help in creating Linux clients, and it is theoretically a win for the Open Source community as they get a working Skype client.

    Skype already provides a working Linux client here []. I have used it on both popular (Ubuntu) and not-as-popular (Gentoo and Arch) distributions and it works great.

    The idea is to get the Open Source hackers to work out the tricky bits like figuring out which API allows access to the web cam, and which API should be used for audio input/output. The folks working on the various distributions know how this is done, and Skype (apparently) does not.

    Skype's official client uses V4L2 for video (the only current video API) and ALSA for audio (the most popular audio API.) I'd say they have it figured out pretty well.

  • Re:Screw Skype.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Per Wigren ( 5315 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:47PM (#32671314) Homepage
    Everybody use it because everybody else use it, because it's so incredibly easy to get started with and most of them don't even know what the word "proprietary" means.
  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:35PM (#32671706)
    Yes, of course, Apple changes the world once again with their innovative technology *yawn*. Did it ever occur to you not everyone owns Apple hardware, or that people may be using their PCs to do video calls while they can do work at the same time?
  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:47PM (#32671788)
    Supposedly, FaceTime is going to be an open standard, so it could become more widely implemented, and thus pose a threat to Skype.
  • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @02:05AM (#32674270) Homepage Journal

    Why would you want to use a limited and broken protocol only implemented by one company, and which specifications aren't even published?

    I use SIP and my mother uses SIP because I gave her a pre-configured hardware SIP phone and even plugged it in for her. Everyone else wants me to install Skype NOW. That's why you would want to implement the broken protocol.

    Nobody but my mother calls me using SIP, even though SIP:* is published numerous places on the Internets (don't need the after @ part if you abuse SipBroker), everyone wants me to start using Facebook & install Skype. That's what the world has come to. You don't need SIP to talk to yourself and that's about all you can do with it, if you have friends then you'll find they all use Facebook and Skype and other evil.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972