W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webrtc@w3.org > January 2012

Re: Do we need capabilities?

From: Neil Stratford <nstratford@voxeo.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2012 14:30:05 +0000
Message-ID: <4F1EC06D.8010002@voxeo.com>
To: Adam Bergkvist <adam.bergkvist@ericsson.com>
CC: "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>
On 24/01/2012 13:29, Adam Bergkvist wrote:
> On 01/24/2012 10:18 AM, Neil Stratford wrote:

>> There are things that users expect that would not be possible without
>> capabilities - for example rich presence displaying camera icons next to
>> contacts who are available for video calls, or hiding the ability to
>> call entirely if no microphone is available. I find it difficult to
>> imagine a good UI that has no information about what may or may not be
>> possible before an actual call is attempted.
>>
>> My concern is primarily providing a good end user experience that
>> doesn't require hacks like attempting dummy call setups to retrieve
>> capability information - which is likely what developers will resort to
>> if we don't provide such an API.
>
> I agree that having the UI reflect what the app can do is a tricky
> matter. But knowing the capabilities of the browser is not a guarantee
> for successful communication. The user (on any side) may not give
> permission to use a device, and even when you have a stream, there's a
> risk of not finding a working transport.

It's not a guarantee, but it's a very good indication of what is 
possible and a good way to set the user expectations.

On another point, moving the permission request to getCapabilities() 
would also provide users with a chance to check their devices before 
they make themselves available to receive calls. I don't want the first 
time I notice that I've forgotten to connect my webcam and headset to be 
when I hear ringing and the remote party is hanging on the line waiting.

Neil
Received on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 14:31:02 UTC

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