[Blink] Russian locale issues + broken VP8 encoding

Charles Rocha rochacj at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 24 21:11:17 CEST 2015

Dear Blink Staff,

We are trying to use Blink in our office. We are running either Debian Jessie or Xubuntu 14.04 on all systems. The Debian systems are set up with the US locale. The Xubuntu systems are set up with the Russian locale. It is on these Xubuntu systems that Blink does not work properly. In our testing, it appears that the problem seems related to having a locale that uses non-latin characters.

Symptoms: Blink can receive chats and calls but cannot call out or send chat messages. The chat window setup screen is a blank gray box. Most of the system settings are unchecked by default and can be selected, but they revert to the unchecked state when Blink is exited and restarted. When starting Blink from the command line, the following text appears in the terminal:

xubuntu at xubuntu:~$ blink
error: Exception occured while calling function handle_notification in the GUI thread
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/__init__.py", line 278, in _EH_CallFunctionEvent
    event.function(*event.args, **event.kw)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/preferences.py", line 1662, in handle_notification
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/preferences.py", line 1666, in _NH_SIPApplicationDidStart
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/preferences.py", line 701, in load_settings
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/preferences.py", line 886, in update_chat_preview
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/preferences.py", line 870, in add_message
    chat_element.appendInside(message.to_html(style, user_icons=user_icons))
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/blink/chatwindow.py", line 301, in to_html
    return style.html.message.format(message=self, **kw)
UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xd0 in position 3: ordinal not in range(128)

To duplicate the problem without going through a full install, boot from a Xubuntu live disc, select Russian as the default system language, then install and run Blink within the live session. The problem appears the same whether running a live session or actual install on the hard drive. We have not tried to install Blink on a Debian system with Russian locale.

Any advice?

Also, it seems that VP8 encoding does not seem to work in the Linux version of any install. Connecting with VP8 as the sole codec between two Blink users results in a black screen on both ends. Blink shows VP8 video from other apps such as Linphone, but it appears that no VP8 is sent from Blink itself.

By the way, we love your program. We would really like to use it in our organization if we could get the first problem resolved. The VP8 problem is not such a big deal, but it would be useful to have it working, as we still have a few old systems that can only run Linphone.

Best Regards,


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