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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Browsers and Internet
Skype Desktop Client to quit working as of July 1, 2017
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 16:52    Post subject:  Skype Desktop Client to quit working as of July 1, 2017
Subject description: 4.3 is being retired for good, after years of non-development
 

Evening, all.

Just to let y'all know, the Qt-based Skype 4.3 desktop client will quit working after the 1st July this year...for good. After this date, it'll refuse to work at all, as the API is being retired from service.

Screenshot from the Skype downloads for Linux webpage:-



This is reported on the OMG! Ubuntu site, here:-

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/06/skype-4-3-linux-stop-working-july-2017

No doubt some of you have been hearing about the fuss generated by MicroSoft's decision to overhaul the app's GUI, and to make it more SnapChat-like. This has thoroughly annoyed an awful lot of people around the world, especially in the business community, where it's used by many organizations for conference calls, and keeping in touch with operatives in the field.

Not only this, but after it's been released initially for Android(!), followed by Windows, Mac, and finally iOS, that's it; that's as far as development of the new version goes.

Linux users don't get a look-in on this new version.....at all.

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/06/microsoft-next-generation-skype-no-linux-support

We're not totally abandoned, though. There is an Electron-based Skype for Linux 'Beta' now out, following on from the 'Skype for Linux alpha' that was released last year. If you download the .deb package on the Skype downloads page, this is what you will get. Skype for Linux Beta 5.3.



Unfortunately, it's only available in a 64-bit package; so you'll need to run a 64-bit Pup in order to try it out. It installs, and runs with no hassle in Tahr64 6.05; I haven't yet tried Slacko64.....it may install, it may not. We all know .debs are somewhat hit & miss in the 'Slackos'. To those of you who have tried the browser-based 'Skype for Web', this beta will look very familiar, as it's the exact same interface. In fact, I believe it is the web interface, just on the desktop. (I'm doubly convinced of that, as I've been using the browser version with the 'dark' theme, since 4.3 hasn't been working properly for months.....and the 'beta' version picked it up, and switched from 'light' to 'dark', within seconds of start-up.) The difference is supposed to be that video-calling works in the Beta, where it didn't in the Alpha..... Rolling Eyes

We shall see..! Shocked

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This will be, for some of you, a golden opportunity to start exploring the many modern alternatives out there. Here's a few suggestions:-

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fed-up-with-skype-here-are-6-of-the-best-free-alternatives/

One that isn't mentioned is WIRE. I covered this in my recent thread on using AppImages, here:-

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=110078

I've been using this to correspond with a couple of friends in the States.....and so far, it's been working flawlessly. It's run in every Pup I've tried it in, 32- and 64-bit alike; there are AppImages available for both.

I'll be experimenting with the new Electron-based 5.3 Beta, and I'll keep y'all posted.


Mike. Wink

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Last edited by Mike Walsh on Mon 05 Jun 2017, 19:27; edited 3 times in total
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 1926
Location: 500 seconds from Sol

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 17:29    Post subject:  

Just FYI, if you're still running XP, ooVoo mentioned in the post the other Mike referenced, works well; better than skype. Unfortunately, it doesn't run under Linux. Before his motherboard bit the dust, it was how we, via my wife's Windows 7, kept in touch with him, living in Budapest.

Now that he has a Windows 10, I've suggested we switch to Wire. But some of the other VOIPs mentioned on the link appear interesting.

mikesLr
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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 2141

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 17:42    Post subject:  

Hmmm!

Looks like you can't get a refund for partially used credits, bought more than 15 days ago. At least online.

Cheeky!!!!

Perhaps even unlawful.

Outside of that basically the option is to close your account and as part of that they suggest you use all credit before doing so.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 18:03    Post subject:  

Hi, rufwoof.

rufwoof wrote:
Perhaps even unlawful.


Hah! MakeUseOf, like all the tech sites, have covered this same story. They've had nearly 300 replies..! In one of them, the poster went so far as to describe MyCrudSoft as not so much a business, as a criminal organisation.....

I tell ya, mate, I nearly pissed myself!


Mike. Wink

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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 2141

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 18:13    Post subject:  

Thanks for the forewarning about 4.3 no longer working as of July Mike.

I do use it primarily for dialpad type automated calls and periodically put on £50 of credit that normally sees me through a number of months (I prefer not to have automated re-credit or payments of any kind so have always been opted out of "auto-credit when down to £2" or whatever it is). £45 outstanding having done so a month or so ago apparently going to be lost as when I last checked the 'updated' version DTMF keypad during calls wasn't available.

Not so much the money, rather the principle.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 19:05    Post subject:  

rufwoof wrote:
Thanks for the forewarning about 4.3 no longer working as of July Mike.

I do use it primarily for dialpad type automated calls and periodically put on £50 of credit that normally sees me through a number of months (I prefer not to have automated re-credit or payments of any kind so have always been opted out of "auto-credit when down to £2" or whatever it is). £45 outstanding having done so a month or so ago apparently going to be lost as when I last checked the 'updated' version DTMF keypad during calls wasn't available.

Not so much the money, rather the principle.


I agree with you, ruffers.

What d'you expect? This is MyCrudSoft we're talking about here, after all..! Where the user, seemingly, is no longer even part of the equation any more.....except for the use of their data as a 'commodity' to generate ad revenue for Redmond.

Same old, same old..... Some things never change. Satya Nadella showed promise when he first took over at M$; in some respects, he's showing even worse contempt for the people who made M$ into the giant organization it's become (Joe Public) than Steve Ballmer ever did.

At least he didn't pull his punches, and was totally open about his likes and dislikes. (Remember the remark about 'Linux being a cancer' from the early 2000s?) Rolling Eyes


Mike. Wink

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Last edited by Mike Walsh on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 05:32; edited 2 times in total
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 19:18    Post subject:  

mikeslr wrote:
Just FYI, if you're still running XP, ooVoo mentioned in the post the other Mike referenced, works well; better than skype. Unfortunately, it doesn't run under Linux. Before his motherboard bit the dust, it was how we, via my wife's Windows 7, kept in touch with him, living in Budapest.

Now that he has a Windows 10, I've suggested we switch to Wire. But some of the other VOIPs mentioned on the link appear interesting.

mikesLr


Do have a look at WIRE, Mike. It's pretty solid, and foolproof, too. The interface has no frills (like many modern apps) but everything that you need IS there.

And being available as an AppImage makes it even easier to use. I run it from my 'remote' data partition, where I run all my browsers, and several other apps too, all sym-linked into every Pup at the appropriate points.....and simply ran up a Menu entry to start it with, under 'Personal'.

The only peculiarity is that even using the same AppImage in multiple Pups, WIRE still sees each Pup as a separate install.....and you're limited to a maximum of no more than 7 devices 'active' at any one time..!

It must check the UUIDs on startup.

EDIT:- After putting my considering cap on, I checked something.....and, as I suspected, WIRE does indeed set up a separate directory in ~/.config for each Pup you run it in. So that explains that.


Mike. Wink

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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun 2017, 19:31    Post subject:  

A post from one of the many commenters to the MakeUseOf article (referred to above):-

Quote:
Scabrone
March 9, 2017 at 8:24 am

Skype continual forced updates. I was happy with older version but now the new version refuse to work on old hardware. The new owner microshit company force us to buy new computer for using for basic operations like talk on skype.
Why is necessary to buy an new computer or to install win 10 shit for that ?
This is usual microsoft bullshit to take our money for nothyng.
Microsoft is not a company, is a criminal organization.


I rest my case..!


Mike. Wink

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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jun 2017, 07:08    Post subject:  

**UPDATE**

Morning, all.

Just to confirm, the Skype for Linux 5.3 'Beta' .deb package does indeed install into, and run correctly, in Slacko64. Wonder of wonders!

This is the 'original' release, 6.3.0; I can't speak for 6.3.2. Somebody else will need to check this out, please!


Mike. Wink

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tony

Joined: 14 Jan 2006
Posts: 326
Location: Montreal.ca

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jun 2017, 15:22    Post subject:  

Thanks Mike,

I have just installed tahr 64 on my asus eeepc 1015.

NO PROBLEMS. Same with the Skype 5.3 .deb.

Regards Tony.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun 2017, 05:29    Post subject:  

tony wrote:
Thanks Mike,

I have just installed tahr 64 on my asus eeepc 1015.

NO PROBLEMS. Same with the Skype 5.3 .deb.

Regards Tony.


Hi, Tony. Good, good. Glad to hear it.

As long as it's working okay for you, that's great.....because by all accounts, within the next 3-4 weeks, it's the only version of Skype that'll be available for Puppy going forward. Either that, or the web-based version, which is identical (for which you will need a current version of Chrome/Chromium.) The old desktop client will be redundant, since there's no intention of producing a Linux version of this new 'overhauled' release.

And from the sounds of it, that's no bad thing; I'm afraid I detest the way many of these modern chat apps look, and work.....and since M$ took the helm, Skype seems to issue upgrades, every other week, just for the sake of it; often to 'break' existing functionality, and to make it fit in more with their current revenue model.

Ads, ads.....and, you guessed it, more ads! At least the Linux 'beta' still has a recognisable interface.....for now.


Mike. Wink

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gjuhasz


Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun 2017, 15:50    Post subject: Web based chat options  

Mike Walsh wrote:
... the web-based version, which is identical (for which you will need a current version of Chrome/Chromium.) The old desktop client will be redundant, since there's no intention of producing a Linux version of this new 'overhauled' release.


+1

I have no problem with the web based Skype on the 32-bit Puli (tested thru Iron and Vivaldi browsers, maybe others are also OK). Compared with v4.3 client - same features, same quality.

Note that Mozilla gave up with their web chat feature and actually proposes https://appear.in which nearly as good as Skype. The only missing item could be the Big Brother Smile

Have fun!

Best regards,

gjuhasz
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watchdog

Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 1450
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun 2017, 03:38    Post subject:  

As what I know palemoon has not webrtc and so it's a no go using skype web with palemoon in 32 bit puppies. A plugin for skype web is not available for palemoon. Skype web works with a webrtc capable browser. I want to use as alternative in combined manner:

http://www.skebby.com/

for sms and

https://hangouts.google.com/

for calls and chat with palemoon. There are psip and linphone, too. There also is:

https://plus.im/

Many alternatives.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3032
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun 2017, 05:57    Post subject:  

Morning, watchdog. I have a request for you.

You remember your workaround for Skype 4.3, with PulseAudio, for Tahr 6.05? Any chance you could let me know where you got the source code for PulseAudio? I'd like to try and compile it in Tahr64, since although the audio is working in 5.3 Beta, it's coming out all garbled.

I want to see if using PulseAudio will actually improve matters.....

Thanks.


Mike. Wink

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watchdog

Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 1450
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun 2017, 06:28    Post subject:  

The source code of pulseaudio is aivailable at:

https://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/releases/

In xenialpup64 I install pulseaudio by ppm even if it's declared already installed and it works. Not tried in tahr64. I'll give it a try: I think there is probably no need to compile.

EDIT: I have had success starting pulseaudio 4.0 (from PPM: install it again even if it's declared already installed) daemon in tahr64 by commenting some lines in /etc/pulse/default.pa. I attach my default.pa (remove fake gz).
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