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Open Peer for WebRTC - Whitepaper

Open Peer for WebRTC - Whitepaper

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Published by hookflash
Open Peer (OP) is a Peer-to-Peer protocol designed to offer peer-to-peer signaling (on the wire) and P2P services for Real-Time Communications (RTC) applications. Open Peer works as a signaling layer on top of WebRTC in browsers. OP can also act as an independent P2P signaling stack for RTC standalone applications. An example of this is the Hookflash iPad app.
Open Peer (OP) is a Peer-to-Peer protocol designed to offer peer-to-peer signaling (on the wire) and P2P services for Real-Time Communications (RTC) applications. Open Peer works as a signaling layer on top of WebRTC in browsers. OP can also act as an independent P2P signaling stack for RTC standalone applications. An example of this is the Hookflash iPad app.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: hookflash on Nov 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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Open Peer – A Proposed P2P Signaling Protocol for WebRTC© Copyright 2012 Hookflash Inc.
1
OpenPeer
 –
AProposedPeer
-
to
-
Peer
SignalingProtocolforWebRTC
ByRobinRaymondChiefArchitect,HookflashInc.
 
Open Peer – A Proposed P2P Signaling Protocol for WebRTC© Copyright 2012 Hookflash Inc.
2
WhatisOpenPeer?
OpenPeer(OP)isaPeer-to-Peerprotocoldesignedtoofferpeer-to-peersignaling(onthewire)andP2PservicesforReal-TimeCommunications(RTC)applications.OpenPeerworksasasignalinglayerontopofWebRTCinbrowsers.OPcanalsoactasanindependentP2PsignalingstackforRTCstandaloneapplications.AnexampleofthisistheHookflashiPadapp.
WebRTCOverview
“WebRTC”asreferencedinthisdocumentreferstothenewlyproposedopenstandardandnottheopensourceprojectcreatedandmaintainedbyGoogleunlessotherwisespecified.
WebRTCisastandardproposedbyjointeffortoftheIETFandtheW3Cforbrowser-to-browserRTCviasimpleJavaScriptAPIs,whoseeffortsarebeingsupportedbythemajorbrowservendors.WhileWebRTCallowsforbrowserstoperformtasksaroundreal-timecommunications,WebRTConit'sowndoesnotofferacomprehensiveapproachtohowtwobrowsersshouldinitiatecommunicationtobrowsersonothermachines.Inotherwords,eachwebsitemustdeviseitsownapproachtoinitiatingcommunicationsothatabrowseronmachine"A"cancommunicatewithbrowseronmachine"B".ThisinessenceistheproblemthatHookflashisproposingOpenPeerwouldresolve.WebRTCallowsJavaScripttoobtaininformationfromthebrowseronhowtocreateanaudio,videoordatasession,knownasSessionDescriptionProtocol(SDP),andJavaScriptcanrequestaccesstoamicrophone,camera,orspeakerandallowvideotoberenderedinsideabrowserwindow.SimplyobtainingSDPinformationfromthebrowserisinsufficienttoinitiatecommunicationbetweentwobrowsers.EachbrowserwantingtocommunicatemustmutuallyexchangetheirSDPobtainedfromJavaScriptthroughanintermediateserverbeforethebrowsersareabletocommunicationwitheachother.Inthesimplestapproach,tostartreal-timecommunicationsfromJavaScriptwithinabrowser,anSDPcanbeobtainedfromthebrowseronmachine"A",postedtoawebserverandinturnfetchedbythebrowseronmachine"B"fromthatsamewebserver.ThereciprocalSDPcanbeobtainedfromthebrowseronmachine"B"andpostedtothewebserverandfetchedbytheoriginalbrowser"A".WiththetwoSDPsexchanged,thebrowseronmachine"A"canquiteliterallytalktobrowseronmachine"B".Simpleenough?Maybenot.Thatapproachignoresmanythingsthatneedtohappeninatypicalcommunicationscenario,whichsignalingprotocolsaredesignedtoperform.
 
Open Peer – A Proposed P2P Signaling Protocol for WebRTC© Copyright 2012 Hookflash Inc.
3Inasignalingscenario,whenoneuserinitiatescommunicationtoanotheruser,theinitiatorhastosignaltotheremotepartytheirdesiretocommunicateandthereceivingpartyhastosignalitswillingnesstoacceptthecommunication.Withoutsignaling,aservicewouldhavetopresumethattwoindependentpartiesimmediatelywanttocommunicateregardlessiftheyactuallydo.Makingthatpresumptionmightworkfineforsomespecificapplicationscenariosbutcertainlynotmostorallscenarios.Afterall,thecontactedpartymightbeindisposedorunwillingtocommunicatewhentheinitiatorattemptscommunication.Oncetwopartieshavefinishedcommunicating,onepartymustsignaltotheotherthatitnolongerwishestocommunicateandterminatethecommunication.Evenifthepresumptionisthatbothpartieswishtocommunicateimmediately,signalingisstillrequired.Apartythatwishestocommunicatemustliterallysitinwaitingtobecontactedormustsomehowbepushednotificationthatcommunicationisdesired.NoneofthatsignalingprocessisdefinedbyWebRTCandthescenariooutlinedassumesonlythemostbasicofsignalingscenariosofinitiating,ringing,answeringandhangingup(letaloneadvancedscenarioslikecallforwarding,orconferencecalling).ThetechnicalmechanismsofexactlyhowbrowserssitinwaitingforSDPstobeexchangedandhowtobrowsersrespondtorequestsismissingfromWebRTC.Whilethismightseemlikeahugeoversight,WebRTClacksthissignalingbydesign.TheIETFandW3Cwerewisetoknowthatfixatingonasinglesolutionforsignalingnowwouldhamperadvancesinnewornosignalingtechnologies.TechnologieslikeOpenPeerwouldneverhavebeendevelopedifWebRTChadchosentouseanexistingprotocol.Plus,thevarioussignalingvendorsbehindSIP,XMPPandSkypeareallvyingtobepositionthemselvestoleverageWebRTCandpromotetheirownsignalingprotocolincombinationwithWebRTC.ThusadoptingasignalingprotocolstandardbytheIETFandW3CwouldhavecausedawarbetweensignalingprovidersthatwouldhavesettheeffortstogetWebRTCadoptedbybrowservenderspushedbackforyearstocome.AsWebRTClackssignaling,eachwebsitewishingtouseWebRTCisleftwithoutacriticalpieceoftechnologytomakethepeer-to-peerreal-timecommunicationcapabilitiesfunctional.Asaresult,eachwebsitewilleitherimplementtheirowncustomsolution(whichwilllikelynotopenlyinteroperatewithanyotherwebsite)orchosetouseaJavaScript/webserversignalingbridgemechanismtointerfacetoanexistingsignalingprotocollikeSIP,XMPPorSkype.Nowwebsiteshaveanotheralternative,OpenPeer,astackbeingdirectlywritteninJavaScript(andisavailableinotherlanguagesaswell).
SIP,XMPPandSkypemaynotbetheBestAnswer
ThenaturalsolutionforthelackofWebRTCsignalingwouldbetotakeanexistingopenstandardstechnologylikeSIPandwriteupsomekindofbridgingfromJavaScriptviaawebservertotalkwithSIPservers,thusallowingWebRTCtofunction.SIPishighlysuccessful,butit'ssuccessisalsoit'sgreatestfailing.

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