asterisk

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Tue Nov 4 22:48:08 MST 2008


Nicholas Leippe wrote:
> On Tuesday 04 November 2008 10:42:56 am Hans Fugal wrote:
>> I want a better asterisk or asterisk alternative as much as anyone, but
>> what level of maturity have these projects reached? For all its foibles
>> asterisk has been the best all-around VOIP solution in my experience, so
>> far. Have these other projects caught up with asterisk, maintained their
>> purity, gathered an enthusiastic and helpful user base, and gone through
>> the paces to work out the bugs and security issues?
> 
> I would have to say, yes. But just like asterisk, they are on-going projects.
> 
>> I'm not saying
>> asterisk is perfect, but as it had a considerable head start, in my mind
>> the burden of proof that any of these others are actually better is on
>> you/them. But I'm willing to be educated...
> 
> At this point, I liken asterisk to microsoft. Just because it's ubiquitous, 
> doesn't mean it is great. While asterisk remains tremendously useful, it has 
> some serious fundamental problems, as anyone that has had to admin asterisk in 
> an HA environment can attest. Furthermore, the devs consistently break 
> compatibility, despite community outrage... starting to sound like devs from 
> some other projects...?

I'm the first to criticize asterisk, it often frustrates me and astounds
me (in bad ways). But things seem to have settled down quite a bit and
improved across the board. Take that last point for example. While
undoubtedly true in the past I believe I heard a recent announcement
that compatibility is now frozen and will be held sacred from this point
forward, even across major releases, for the forseeable future (I'm
going from memory here, but I distinctly remember something to that
effect).

I contend that asterisk is an active, open, evolving project. One with a
questionable original code base and wacky design decisions (sound like
any other Mark Spencer-started projects?), but one with substantial
energy, support, and active evolution. If anything defines a successful
open source project it's that. Asterisk's own success up to now is a
manifestation of that.

Of course that doesn't mean alternatives can't or won't catch up or be
worth a look. I myself often find OpenSER (or whatever they call it now)
to be a better fit in some cases (though it has its own problems and
quirks, and disappointed me by failing to be better than asterisk at a
task it *should* have been clearly superior at - but that's another
post). Those alternatives probably are worth a look, and I hope I get a
chance to look at them.


-- 
Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach



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