OpenMoko application as Final Year Project

Alexey Feldgendler alexey at
Fri Sep 28 13:40:06 CEST 2007

On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 12:39:25 +0200, Ferran Orsola <forsola at>  

> What it can make a huge different for a mobile is a application that
> allow that mobile to talk using skypo protocol.
> As you should kn ow skype used a private protocol and it is not and
> opensource.
> So I suggest to you to snnifer a full conversation and try to copy this
> protocol and the application to create a opensource project compatible
> with skype for openmoko (if this has not been deployed).

This has been tried many times by different people. Unfortunately, the  
Skype protocol turned out to be exceptionally hard to reverse-engineer.  
Even though someone did claim that they managed to do it, there wasn't  
ever a workable alternative client presented to the public based on the  
results from reverse engineering. So far all existing alternative clients,  
SIP gateways etc run the original Skype binary in the background to handle  
the actual calls, which is unreliable, has an incredible performance  
overhead, and is only possible on Intel CPUs for which Skype makes the  

I also doubt that implementing a Skype client is a good idea for a project  
like OpenMoko, even if it's technically feasible. Skype is a closed-source  
solution locking you in to their paid services without an alternative.  
Even if the protocol eventually gets reverse engineered, and alternative  
clients emerge, Skype can always find ways to break them by slightly  
changing the protocol. That's what in reality happens with Mirabillis'  
instant messenger, ICQ, for which many alternative clients based on the  
reverse engineered protocol are available. It has already happened several  
times that Mirabillis introduced slight changes to the protocol breaking  
at least some of the alternative clients without breaking their own  
(Mirabillis is interested in everyone using their client because it  
displays ads).

On the other hand, the SIP protocol is fully open, has numerous  
interoperable client and server implementations, including multiple brands  
of hardware SIP telephones, stimulates a healthy competition between  
providers of paid landline gateways, plays nice with XMPP (Jabber), etc.

Alexey Feldgendler <alexey at>
[ICQ: 115226275]

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