Webex - how's it going? Breakout TPAC 2015

28 Oct 2015

See also: IRC log


David_Singer, Nigel_Megitt, Ralph_Swick, Vivien_Lacourba, Masato, Ohura, Judy, Brewer
nigel, Ralph


<nigel> scribe: nigel

vivien: I'm on the systems team and also co-staff contact in WebRTC WG

Ralph: This was instigated in the Chair's breakfast after nigel mentioned that Webex doesn't seem to be a good fit for W3C
... then Jeff suggested we use a breakout session.

dsinger: And we use Webex because it's free from MIT not because we think it's ideal?

Ralph: The original trigger was that MIT decided not to cover the zakim telephony expenses.
... Looking around for alternatives, Webex was the new campus service including the call-out and call-back service, and it's available at no cost to W3C.
... I haven't found anything else that does what we need. There could be a question if
... another service were to meet all our needs (including PSTN access) with a non-zero cost.

nigel: I know at least one other, e.g. Microsoft Lync.

Ralph: There are other services, that have a cost for PSTN access.

dsinger: A new best practice is to assign people personal code numbers, and require that
... they enter them, then instead of showing as "Call in user (23)" their name comes up.

Ralph: Most people use the client to make it call them.

vivien: Even on Unix the Java app works but the audio doesn't. Sometimes I'm getting
... disconnections.

Ralph: That was my question - why call in rather than having Webex call out.

<inserted> scribe: Ralph

Nigel: let's start with "How's it going?" feedback

move to next item

How's it going?

Nigth: in Timed Text we've seen two problems:
... 1. the meeting prematurely ended with no apparent reason
... this happened once
... 2. the meeting hadn't been scheduled at the right time
... both of these became significant because the time to repair took significant time of the meeting
... even 5 minutes is an issue
... the overall effect in these cases was 15 minutes
... I used WebEx elsewhere and my general experience is that it's good quality
... I do have the symptom where I've requested dialout and the system thinks it's made a connection but my phone hasn't rung

<inserted> scribe: nigel

dsinger: The password leaking out has also been raised by the team. That's been pointed out by the team already.

vivien: Google has spidered all our meeting pages too, so a quick search shows up all the meetings.

<vivien> see https://www.google.fr/?q=site:w3.org+mit.webex.com

<vivien> the right google search: https://www.google.com/?q=site:w3.org+mit.webex.com

Ralph: There was an unusual pattern of outgoing calls identified. That was dealt with by unilaterally removing the meetings.

dsinger: So they were deleting repeating meetings?

Ralph: Right.
... The bottom line was that we chose not to publish the participant password.

nigel: In my experience you can't join the audio call until the host role has been claimed

vivien: That's configurable.

dsinger: We have no hope of holding meetings without distributing the participant code

Ralph: I commented that we have to publish the meeting URL, and that the WG pages are public.
... We can probably figure out how to distribute the code privately.
... I don't understand when the password is needed vs when it is not.

dsinger: Separate from the meeting number?

Ralph: Correct.

dsinger: What's the point of it?

vivien: If you join from the URI then it doesn't ask for the password, but if navigating using the meeting code then it does ask for the password.

Ralph: The compromise is to keep the password secret but not the 9 digit code.

dsinger: We could configure that a host is required, e.g. staff or chair

nigel: That's the situation right now in TTWG. But in case the chair isn't present then someone else has to claim the host role.

Ralph: We can allow chairs to have admin rights.

vivien: The issue is that we still make the URI public.

dsinger: I've never been asked for a password.

group: conversation about details re joining and requirement for password.

nigel: The conclusion is that sometimes the password is required to start the client, so we do need to distribute it. We're not sure why!

vivien: So there's the password issue and the publicity of the password.

Ralph: So we can tell Cisco that they need to make it so we can publish a public URL that still requires a password

dsinger: The only way to prevent abuse of the MIT bridge is to keep some info restricted to key people

Ralph: I think we can bound the issue to the scheduled duration of the call
... The second part of my message to chairs is: Make sure there is someone who has the host role who ends the meeting.
... That's so that if you don't pay attention to the list of participants then people can't hover and then use it after the meeting has otherwise ended.

vivien: I'm surprised that we have to go into the detail of how Cisco's system work.

dsinger: I'd suggest that we allow some extra time after the meeting and then automatically terminate the meeting.

Ralph: That might work. We obviously don't want a hard stop.

<scribe> ACTION: Ralph Find out when the password is required to join a Webex meeting [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2015/10/28-webex-minutes.html#action01]

Ralph: Another solution proposed was to schedule meetings for 15 minutes and then the host can keep the meeting open as long as is needed.

vivien: Can we put the meeting details on a page that requires authentication, like the old Zakim calendar page?

Ralph: I suspect we can make that work.

dsinger: Noone is doing this on IRC though.

nigel: They are! We had someone spoof a staff name once.

dsinger: That's a lot of effort to go to for not much obvious benefit.

judy: I've had reports from staff in China that they get severe degradation of the call over time.
... I think this may be both staff at Beihang and also other companies.

Ralph: In that case how was the connection made?

judy: I'm not sure - computer maybe. The quality switches between good and very poor
... intermittently, for a few minutes each cycle.
... This affects multiple staff.

Ralph: We do already have the issue where Webex thinks the call has been made but the phone has not rung.

judy: There's also a difficulty initiating calls in China, which can take several minutes.
... Out of a 30 minute call you get 12-15 minutes of functional call time.
... Also we need to track Cisco's improvements to accessibility.

dsinger: I thought Webex is end of life and there are no plans to change it?

Ralph: That's right, though they may change the UI software.
... They're planning a replacement service, but it was supposed to be ready last June.

judy: Janina has this problem but has a workaround if there's someone to help.

<vivien> Cisco Spark

nigel: Summary of issues gathered:
... * Call initiation
... * Call quality
... * Participant monitoring
... Call monitoring - who is making noise?
... Call identification
... Speed of administration
... Call disconnections
... Minimal technical requirements including Java
... Call administration - requirement for a host to be present to initiate call
... Need to explicitly end meeting
... Do we have mitigations to all of these issues?

Ralph: no. You can give me an action to find mitigations.

<scribe> ACTION: Ralph to find mitigations for the issues we do not already have mitigations for [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2015/10/28-webex-minutes.html#action02]

dsinger: Zakim used to have a caller number to name database.

Ralph: Cisco has flat out refused to provide caller ID.

dsinger: I think it's different - you're asking for name identification not phone number.
... There's no privacy violation there because you've already volunteered your name.

vivien: There's already a name to phone number mapping for dial-out.

Ralph: So they could invert that.


<Zakim> timeless, you wanted to ask if cisco would provide tagged callers as opposed to caller id -- so if someone has an account w/ a preferred caller number, could it give that account

nigel: By the way, with Webex you can see who is making noise and mute people

dsinger: Why do we not want to allow screen sharing?

Ralph: Because it's not accessible. Also because everything important should be in the web.

<timeless> you can see using the webex client, but many of us can't run the webex client

<timeless> ... i'm missing the zakim bridge to that information

nigel: Do we also discourage whiteboard usage?

Ralph: again, it's an accessibility question.

nigel: timeless, yes, we've registered that not everyone can run the client.

<timeless> (generally speaking, if someone uses a whiteboard, someone is expected to record a description in the logs once they're done whiteboarding)

dsinger: So Zakim will be able to tell you the code?

Ralph: Yes, you can now tell Zakim "this is XYZ" and it will remember it.
... And there's syntax for permanently remembering it.
... then "zakim, code?" returns that.
... and "zakim, save this description" associates it with the IRC channel.
... At some point I will teach Zakim some synonyms.

nigel: We're out of time - I think we did what we wanted. Thanks everyone!

Summary of Action Items

[NEW] ACTION: Ralph Find out when the password is required to join a Webex meeting [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2015/10/28-webex-minutes.html#action01]
[NEW] ACTION: Ralph to find mitigations for the issues we do not already have mitigations for [recorded in http://www.w3.org/2015/10/28-webex-minutes.html#action02]
[End of minutes]

Minutes formatted by David Booth's scribe.perl version 1.140 (CVS log)
$Date: 2015/10/28 05:32:25 $

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Found Scribe: nigel
Inferring ScribeNick: nigel
Found Scribe: Ralph
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Found Scribe: nigel
Inferring ScribeNick: nigel
Scribes: nigel, Ralph
ScribeNicks: nigel, Ralph
Present: David_Singer Nigel_Megitt Ralph_Swick Vivien_Lacourba Masato Ohura Judy Brewer
Got date from IRC log name: 28 Oct 2015
Guessing minutes URL: http://www.w3.org/2015/10/28-webex-minutes.html
People with action items: ralph

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