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

Re: Do we need capabilities?

From: Adam Bergkvist <adam.bergkvist@ericsson.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:48:07 +0100
Message-ID: <4F2167A7.6050804@ericsson.com>
To: Neil Stratford <nstratford@voxeo.com>
CC: "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>
On 01/24/2012 03:30 PM, Neil Stratford wrote:
> 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.

I agree with you that it might not always be optimal to ask for 
permission at the time when you need, e.g., the camera. (It seems to be 
the model discussed all the time.) Why not call getUserMedia() when the 
web app initializes?

/Adam
Received on Thursday, 26 January 2012 14:53:19 UTC

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