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And you write a streaming server?

One of the things that I have actually to curse my current job for, is me having to deal with Adobe Flash and in particular with the RTMP protocol. The implementation of the RTMP we’re using on our server is provided by the Red5 project — and they are the ones I’m going to write about now.

Last July I’ve spent days and days looking up documentation about Red5 itself, as we couldn’t reach our resident expert, but at the time, their whole website was unavailable, and was just timing out. Yesterday they told me that this was caused by some kind of DDoS, but even if that’s the case, something doesn’t feel right. Especially because, when I came back from VDD12 at the beginning of September, the website was actually reachable, but with the default configuration of a CentOS 5 system, which makes me think more of a hardware failure than a DDoS.

Right now the website is available, but the trac that should host the documentation is unreachable; a different website (Update (2016-07-29): that website is gone, sigh!) has still some documentation but hasn’t been updated for over two years, for the most part. There is also a company behind the project which on their team’s page lists their dogs, among others. Much as I appreciate companies that have a funny side, this is not funny when the project looks almost entirely dead.

But why am I complaining here? Well, what I gathered from the #red5 channel is that they blame the situation to a DDoS on their website and the fact that every time they try to put the wiki back online it goes offline. Uhm, okay…

Now, there are simple ways to handle DDoS in a fairly decent way that don’t require spending two months changing your setup… and in general it seems like very flimsy that this kind of DDoS are keeping going after two months and you can’t get your documentation up. Beside all your user and admin documentation (i.e. anything that is not developer-oriented) is only available on said wiki? Really?

So here I am, trying to figure out what to do with this hot potato of an install, with server software that is, simply put, completely unreliable (software is as reliable and trustworthy as the people who write it, that’s why you can often see what look like “ad hominem” against particular authors’ software — it’s not a fallacy because you have to trust the author if you run the software). I’m honestly not amused.

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