2005 March

March 2005

Asterisk – the Open Source PBX – is distributed in CVS versions and stable releases. This is sometimes confusing, but is intended as a way to provide the user base with a proven stable platform as well as letting the developers build a new version of Asterisk without having to worry about production systems.

The Asterisk CVS repository, cvs.digium.com, currently has two versions of Asterisk. One is v1_0, the Asterisk stable source code and the other is called HEAD, the source code without a CVS release tag. HEAD is the current development version, with all the bugs-of-the-day as well as all the new features. There\’s no gurantee that this version will work on your system at all. The maintainer of the Asterisk development version, currently v1.1, is Mark Spencer – the creator of Asterisk.

The stable source code base in CVS is tested and is used for producing stable releases. The stable releases are published on ftp.digium.com as .tar.gz archives and are given a version number. The current version is 1.0.6, with a 1.0.7 coming out any day now. If you want stable code, use the .tar.gz archives. The CVS source for stable is maintained, but changed and usually under testing so that we know that it is indeed stable. The maintainer of this source code is Russel Bryant.

You will find download instructions for Asterisk CVS or releases on www.asterisk.org.

So, to summarize, if you are willing to help us test the development version on a lab system, download Asterisk v1.1 (CVS head) today! Otherwise, use the .tar.gz stable release versions.

The Register has discovered Asterisk and predicts a bright future for Asterisk and Digium.

Larry Ellison has his super yacht, Bill Gates has his humanitarian fund. For Mark Spencer, the symbol of his success is a hot tub.

It may not be the most expensive trophy, but Spencer%u2019s achievement may well prove to be just as revolutionary – turning the world of enterprise telephony on its head.

The tub, now installed at his Huntsville, Alabama home, was bought for him as a token of gratitude by 150 software developers who work on the platform he initiated – Asterisk, the Linux-based IP private branch exchange (PBX) software.

I\’m currently in the air, on my way over Canada to Chicago. Using the Boeing Connexion service, I\’m chatting, blogging and placing calls with the help of IAXphone and the Asterisk Open Source PBX. Can\’t help feeling like a little boy with a new toy. It\’s amazing. Not to mention friends that get a call from me and says \”Oh yeah, and I\’m in Calcutta :-)\”.

After a few discussions about a new format for AMI, we are going to look into building an intelligent separate module to handle manager connectivity to third party applications. Asterisk is very time-sensitive and it doesn\’t make sense to burden the PBX with quite a lot of manager connections and duplication of event messages to a large quantity of clients.

The new architecture is therefore divided. Asterisk will have one connection to a manager proxy, that can handle

  • Filtering of events based on client requests
  • SSL/TSL security
  • A user authorization scheme
  • Event notification to IM systems, like Jabber
  • XML and web services support

The problem right now is development – who can take the lead in developing this proxy based on ideas in the current proof-of-concept proxy that is included in Asterisk? We have a lot of good ideas, a limited resource of freely available developers…

We also need to develop quite a few new manager interface routines within Asterisk in order to supply data in a fully parseable way. The current interface, the CLI, formats for a screen and has a lot of limitations and also cuts of important data at column boundaries. We need to produce better data from inside of Asterisk in order to make it easier to integrate third party applications to Asterisk. Building an Asterisk eco-system!