The software is currently considered “alpha” (Usually defined as lots of bugs to iron out)
The project is about a year and a half old which is typically long enough to get past alpha into at least early beta stage
The “external” main projects it relies upon seem to be reliable and stable.
The current features should be relatively simple to integrate and build, which to use an off the shelf directory service (OpenDHT), do audio only telephony (the original software they are based on), support various secure file sharing, and do push notifications (From their description, they might have built this from the ground up instead of using an off the shelf solution and yes this one thing might not be so easy).
You might have to figure out whether your telephony problems are directory related or something more central to the phone call.
If you can’t find the other person you want to call, then that is likely a directory problem and DHT has its strengths and weaknesses… Since there is no central server, it depends on many subscribers to provide quick response. If there are very few subscribers online at that moment, it might be difficult or take a very long time for DHT to provide the necessary info.
Once you have found the other person though, DHT and directory services should no longer be an issue. Ring doesn’t describe what it uses for its telephony and messaging protocols or it uses PJSIP (unclear to me)… They say they support SIP side by side with Ring (maybe for separate directory services but uses same SIP telephony for both? That’s not entirely clear). If Ring does use SIP, then you’ll have problems crossing NAT unless there is a built-in solution.
I think the idea of Ring is very cool.
But, the progress they’ve made over a year and a half gives me only slight pause, wondering if they knew enough beforehand to know which battles to fight (ie off the shelf vs build your own), with natural consequences (how much debugging will be required).
DHT is an interesting choice for directory services but as I’ve described might not work so well when your new service isn’t used by many people. Eventually, DHT can become a powerhouse choice, but it’s unclear if early Users will have unexpected (for them) problems.
I’m also curious about their support for x264, encoder licensing has changed every time I look up terms for free use… Today, I don’t even see anything certain posted… The website asks you to submit a questionnaire and they’ll get back to you. Something relatively new seems to be that there is no fee if you use x264 for streaming to a client for free and that a number of large firms have simply paid the fee for anyone using their software or hardware.
Thank you for your long and detailed answer.
I selected this application because I read a test/compare and the result was good. Moreover it has all the features I need and want.
However, with your answer, I think it’s a bit too early to use it.
I installed it on a android tablet and after I have linked an account, it crashes every time I start it.
So, I give up, I’ll see next year…
BTW, could you advise an alternative with the same features; FOSS, Multi platform (Win, Mac Linux, Android), decentralised, …
I don’t know of a true replacement that supports both chat and telephony, but that may be partly because I haven’t looked too hard.
Of course there are the giants of the space like… Whatsapp, Signal and Viber… but even each of those have their own possible drawbacks (You can do an Internet search on people who blog about their misgivings and possible app flaws).
Would love to see a FOSS solution one day conquer the world, but I don’t thing that day has come yet.