A question came up today on ILUG regarding Skype on Linux which then spill-ed over onto a conversation about VoIP clients. KPhone was mentioned which is what I have been using to date with my Blueface VoIP account. Unfortunately I can’t give KPhone a good review as I have always found it buggy, unintuitive and it crashes regularly.
The conversation reminded me of a news bite I read on KDE.news about new Linux VoIP clients that are gaining momentum. One in particular looked very promising: Twinkle. The first version of Twinkle, 0.1, was only released last month but it’s already a formidable application when compared with KPhone.
Although Twinkleuses the cross platform application development framework known as Qt (which is also the foundation of KDE), it is only compatible with Linux’s audio system. Some of the features already completed include two lines, three-way conference calls, call redirection, DTMF sopport and the G.771 and GSM audio codecs.
Some obvious features that are currently missing but that the author plans to add include an address book, a history function to log incoming and outgoing calls, instant messaging and video support. So far I’m very impressed and I have already replaced KPhone with Twinkle.
The only negative comment I have to make, and it’s not really a reflection on Twinkle, is that although the author decided to use Qt it is really a shame he didn’t go the extra step and use the KDE application framework so that it would better integrate with that desktop environment and the other KDE PIM and networking applications. No doubt Michel de Boer, the author, has his reasons – perhaps he plans to extend Twinkle‘s compatibility to other operating systems.