p2p Video Chat – GSoC Week 3

After finished implementing chat log search last week, I moved on to my next major task – implementing p2p video chat in waartaa.

Introduction

A p2p(peer to peer) plugin-free video/audio Real Time Communication(short for RTC) had always been a nightmare for developers to implement. This was changed few years back with the introduction of WebRTC – an open source, plugin-free, built into browsers technology. Today, there are many web services out there which uses webRTC eg. Bistri.

Implementation

A WebRTC application needs to do several things:

  • Get streaming audio, video or other data.
  • Get network information such as IP addresses and ports, and exchange this with other WebRTC clients (known as peers) to enable connection, even through NATs and firewalls.
  • Coordinate signaling communication to report errors and initiate or close sessions.
  • Exchange information about media and client capability, such as resolution and codecs.
  • Communicate streaming audio, video or data.

There are many libraries/frameworks available which does that for you. I am using EasyRTC because it is open source, maintains an active repo on GitHub and uses a node server for handling signaling.

Our initial goal was to use irc nicks for communication between peers but we had to settle using waartaa’s username for now because of trust/authentication issues with irc nicks. Imagine user has to first register his irc nick before starting video chat, that would have consumed alot time of user.

Screenshots

I have tried to tightlty integrate video chat UI with current UI so that user can do both video chat and normal chat(in an IRC channel) in same browser window simultaneously.

Client A
Client A1
Client A2
Client B1
Client B2

Conclusion

I am not sure if this is production ready yet because I haven’t done much research on how much load can easyrtc server handle. Also, by default easyrtc uses a public stun server of google to handle NAT and firewall between peers and that doesn’t sound good to me. It is quite possible that we might have to setup our own stun server.

PR: https://github.com/waartaa/waartaa/pull/119

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