Request: support Microsoft Lync plugin

Bug #1340420 reported by Brian Johnson on 2014-07-10
32
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Pipelight
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Recent (2013?) versions of Microsoft's Lync meeting and conferencing software switched from using Silverlight to using a proprietary browser plugin. The old, Silverlight-based version worked well under Pipelight. I would love it if you could support the new plugin as well. Currently there's no way to use Lync from Linux.

The Lync web page is http://products.office.com/en-us/lync/
The plugin is described at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/lync-help/what-is-lync-web-app-HA103699740.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA102828539
Unfortunately the plugin page doesn't seem to list any sample meeting servers for testing. A 180-day free trial of the full Lync server solution is offered on http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh973393.aspx?wt.mc_id=TEC_118_1_4

Thank you!

Michael Müller (mqchael) wrote :

Hi,

there was also a request some time ago to add support the Microsoft Lync Plugin. We already know that it does not work out of the box and that it would be necessary to fix some bugs in Wine. This would make it necessary for us to debug the plugin which is not possible without any test servers.

The Microsoft Lync Server test version is not a standalone software and also requires a 64 bit version of Window Server 2008 or 2012. Anyway, I have access to all Microsoft server versions and server software (including Lync) through my university so that I may be able to setup everything. Anyway, this will take some time and there is no guarantee that we will find the bug.

Michael

Brian Johnson (jbb-rose) wrote :

Thanks, Michael. I understand that there are no guarantees. Pipelight is a great piece of work; thanks for all that you and the others have done with it.

Michael Müller (mqchael) wrote :

Hi,

sorry for the late answer, but I tried to setup everything and followed the instructions provided by MS closely, but the installer always errors out at some point on my Windows Server 2012 installation and I was never able to fix it. For some reason it fails to publish the topology and I even tried to reinstall Windows Server 2012 several times to make sure that I did not accidentally break something, but the installer even fails on a completely clean Windows installation.

If someone knows an easier way for me to test the plugin I would appreciate any tips.

Michael

Brian Johnson (jbb-rose) wrote :

Sorry, I don't have access to a server to schedule meetings, I just get invited to meetings (hosted by other companies) periodically. But I'd be happy to test a plugin.

Brian

Michael Müller (mqchael) wrote :

Hi,

yesterday I came across the "Test Drive - Lync Server 2013" Downloads on the Microsoft website. These downloads contain a ready to use Microsoft Lync Environment as Virtual Machines. You get 7 VMs with all kinds of different services like a Domain Controller, an Exchange Server, a Lync Server, etc. It is sufficient to run the DC and Lync VM to get access to the Lync 2013 Webapp server, though you need 6 GB of free RAM to start them on the same machine.

Using this approach I was finally able to test the plugin. However, after the installation, I could not get the Lync website to recognize the plugin. After searching through the javascript code, I figured out what is going wrong. Instead of checking the version of the plugin by using navigator.plugins[x].version (like all other plugins) MS had the great idea to check the version by comparing the filename. The plugin is only detected properly if the filename matches exactly 'npLWAPlugin15.7.dll' which causes trouble for pipelight. We can fake all plugin information but not the filename. The filename is determined by the browser and no linux browser is going to load the plugin if the extension of the file is '.dll'. There is no way for Pipelight to get around this check and it is necessary to either alter the source code of the browser or to use some kind of browser extension to get around this problem.

Anyway, to continue testing the plugin I changed the javascript code on the IIS Server. Now the plugin failed to load because of a wine bug ( https://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14771 ) which I could solve by copying some registry keys. This made the plugin to go further and I got a dialog asking me whether I want to use Audio and Video. Clicking on yes brought up a number of new problems since the plugin is only supported on Windows 7 and above. Wine was targeting Windows XP for a long time and many developers didn't really care about functions only available in Vista and above which caused the plugin to use a lot of unimplemented functions. I fixed one of these functions, but the Lync plugin tries to use the Threadpool API which consists out of 36 functions and none of them is implemented in Wine.

At the moment, it does not make sense to add the plugin to pipelight since it obviously doesn't work with Wine. We try to implement the missing stuff, but it will be a long way and may take some time.

Michael

Brian Johnson (jbb-rose) wrote :

Thanks for the hard work! Maybe wine will catch up in the future....

ThT (theodore-tsesmelis) wrote :

Hi there, I was wondering if by any chance we have any progress on adding the support for the MS Lync 2013 plugin into pipelight?

Thanks,
Theo

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