JAVA CHAMPION PROFILE
Over its nine-year history, Jitsi has evolved
from a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
research project into a widely used open
source Java Voice over IP (VoIP) and instant
messaging client that supports five full-time developers working at Blue Jimp.
According to Jitsi Project Lead Emil Ivov,
SIP Communicator (Jitsi’s predecessor),
released in 2003, did SIP calls, including video. In 2006, additional developers
joined the project. The entire code base was
reworked, and Jitsi was born. In 2009, Ivov
founded Blue Jimp, which offers customers
professional support, maintenance, and
custom development related to Jitsi.
Several development milestones have
increased Jitsi’s user base over the years,
including the expansion of Jitsi’s video
footprint from 160 x 120 pixels to 640
x 480 pixels; support for ZRTP and call
encryption; and support for Extensible
Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)
(enabling video calls using Google Talk,
Gmail, and Android phones).
The latest Jitsi releases have added the
capability to establish conference calls in
situations where people are using different
protocols; Domain Name System Security
(DNSSEC) support; and additional hot-plug
support for audio devices.
The development team is currently
working on features to be released in the
coming months, including the Jitsi Android
port and high-quality video conferencing.
More than 100 developers have contrib-
uted to the Jitsi code base. Currently, more
than 20 developers contribute new code
and patches, and many users test snapshot
versions and report the issues they find.
According to Ohloh, the Jitsi code base
consists of more than 700,000 lines of
source. About 50,000 users download the
application each month. The total user base
for Jitsi (including all of its branded incar-
nations) could approach 1 million people.
“FOSS [free and open source software] is
a viable option for anyone setting up a new
project,” Ivov says. “Business models that
rely on selling licenses to end users simply
don’t scale. With FOSS you get to concen-
trate on development, and you also gain
valuable outside contributions.”
This article is the first in a series of Java
.net project profiles. Want to have your
project profiled in Java Magazine Tell us
why it’s great.
FEATURED JAVA.NET PROJECT
Java Champion Jorge Vargas,
freelance Java consultant,
blogger, and cofounder and
CTO of the geolocalization-based application Yumbling,
talked about what he does
when he’s not working.
JAVA IN ACTION
Blue Jimp developers collaborate using
Jitsi, an open source Java VoIP client.
Java Magazine: Where did
you grow up?
Vargas: In Mexico City. Now
I’m living near there in a
small town named Calimaya.
Java Magazine: When did you
first become interested in
Vargas: When I was 16,
my friend Adolfo was very
interested in computers,
so I started studying and
experimenting, too. My first
formal project was a Lotus
1-2-3 application I wrote for
a building company that cal-
culated project costs. I wrote
4,000 lines of code and was
paid about US$300.
Java Magazine: What was
your first computer and pro-
Vargas: The first language I
learned was Basic, along with
macros in Lotus 1-2-3. Next, I
spent some years with Visual
Basic ( 3.x and 4.x). My first
computer was a 286 running
MS-DOS 4.0, with a 100 MB
hard drive and 640 KB of
RAM—a real monster!
Java Magazine: What do you
enjoy for fun and relaxation?
Vargas: Well, I enjoy pro-
gramming for fun! I also play
piano and enjoy looking at
the stars. In school, I spent
many fun months building
my own telescope.
Java Magazine: What’s a typi-
cal “family day”?
Vargas: During the work
week we talk, and I help
with homework if I’m not
too busy. We enjoy going to
the cinema and eating out. I
visit my parents to talk about
plants, flowers, or politics, or
to play cards or dominoes.
Java Magazine: What side
effects of your career do you
enjoy the most?
Vargas: I remember a deli-
cious dinner in San Francisco
with other Java Champions;
it was wonderful because
we shared different points
of view about our careers.
I’m thankful that my career
has permitted me to travel,
and especially to have close
contact with universities and
Java Magazine: Has being
a Java Champion changed
anything for you with respect
to your daily life?
Vargas: When I became a Java
Champion, I felt I needed to
expend more effort sharing
my experiences and knowl-
edge at universities, con-
ferences, and workshops. I
consider this a responsibility
of the role, because people
ask me more questions, and
value my judgment.
Java Magazine: What are you
looking forward to in the
Vargas: I want to expand my
career possibilities and also
study piano. Professionally,
I’ll continue working on
Yumbling. And I want to write
for Java Magazine!
Read more about Jorge Vargas
in “An Interview with Java
Champion Jorge Vargas.” You
can also visit his blog and find
him on Twitter (@edivargas)