[Freeswitch-users] Request for change

Jim Thomas jimthomasembedded at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 31 08:30:43 PDT 2008

> Brian West and I have been kicking around some ideas for a FS book. 

I would like to encourage you to do so.  I think this would give a boost to FS visibility and grow the user community.

I would suggest two books.  The first would be for non-engineering users who need to configure FS in an IT environment.  The second would be for engineering users who might need to better understand the structure, internals, and technologies incorporated in FS to get the most from it and perhaps even to participate in extending it.

If these could appear as O'Reilly books, I think it would accelerate FS visibility and adoption.  Being published as an O'Reilly book sort of brands a technology as no longer speculative, and here to stay.  Asterisk was on a growth trajectory anyway, but I still think they got a boost when O'Reilly began publishing Asterisk oriented books.

If the FS book(s) did not assume VoIP expertise and included some warm-up chapters that explained VoIP 101 technologies in simple terms to help open source PBX prospects get acquainted with VoIP, SIP, RTP, XML, scripting, etc., then open source PBX newbies who are indifferent to Asterisk versus FS might flock to FS where there is more of a foothold getting started.

The O'Reilly Asterisk book I always wanted to see was 'Understanding Asterisk Internals', in the same vein as 'Understanding the Linux Kernel'.  This book would describe the overall source structure, and would be the key resource for very technical users and fledgling project core developers.  Granted, a book like that becomes stale quickly for an actively developed project, but that is equally true of the Linux kernel where there is no shortage of kernel internals books.

So to summarize, I think FS has an opportunity to fill a void overlooked (or underfunded) by the Asterisk community, where a series of FS books ranging from user level to developer level could make FS much more appealing for new open source PBX users, and students in university courses.  As with any open source technology, developer mindshare it the key to long term success.

Disclaimer:  I follow FS and Asterisk with keen interest, but don't have an opportunity to use either in my day job.  I develop proprietary PBX software, and came to monitor the FS mailing list out of interest in Sofia-SIP.


----- Original Message ----
From: Michael S Collins <msc at freeswitch.org>
To: "freeswitch-users at lists.freeswitch.org" <freeswitch-users at lists.freeswitch..org>
Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 4:42:16 PM
Subject: Re: [Freeswitch-users] Request for change

As I am the one primarily responsible for creating the Rosette Stone page I feel compelled to respond. 

I agree with Anthony. The wiki does *not* presume that its readers have Asterisk experience. In fact, this is the very reason that the Rosetta Stone page was created. 

That being said, there are scattered references to Asterisk. How can there not be? Asterisk is one of several reference points for FS. It is probably the key reference point. Most early adopters of FS have Asterisk experience - or in some cases, battle scars. :)

Brian West and I have been kicking around some ideas for a FS book. One key element in writing a book is knowing your target demographic. From my two plus years in the FS community I can tell you that the demographic has started changing. Initially, the vast majority of FS users were Asterisk users. Today that isn't necessarily the case. We are noticing more people who say to us, "I saw FS and Asterisk on a Google search. I think FS looks right for me." In other words we're seeing first-time OSS telephony users and even first-time any kind of telephony users. These new ones needn't concern themselves with the Asterisk references except to put FS into historical context. 

One last thing. You said, "...the beauty of asterisk is its simplicity." I can guarantee you that the Asterisk "refugees" here in the FS community will vehemently disagree with this statement. However, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we will let that comment slide. :)

We will take your comments as suggestions where we can improve things on the wiki. If you see any specific references to Asterisk that are   spurious then let us know and we'll evaluate them on a case by case basis. You can also hop on IRC channel #freeswitch-docs and air your concerns in real time. 


Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 30, 2008, at 9:59 AM, "Anthony Minessale" <anthony.minessale at gmail.com> wrote:


I think mostly everything you are saying is completely wrong.

The majority of documents we have that mention asterisk strive to make sure it's well understood that FreeSWITCH has an entire different paradigm.  If you read your own statements you will see you are not qualified to comment from the perspective of someone who has never used either software because you said yourself that you tried asterisk and found it easy to understand where following FreeSWITCH was much more difficult.  That means you already fell into the asterisk paradigm and now are struggling to shift to how FreeSWITCH is designed.  The volunteers who work on the documentation made a single section in the wiki for people who are used to asterisk.  They can document whatever they want, they are volunteers. 

You make two insulting comments about how I do not listen to the users.  Please have a chat with the hundreds of users who have influenced the design of FreeSWITCH and learn for yourself that this is not true and in fact makes me incredibly angry that you would have the nerve to even suggest it.

You may also need a history lesson.  I myself did a great deal of work on asterisk for several years..  It's part of my life and if I want to talk about that experience or host my asterisk code on my website then I will.  Of course you will not find anything about FreeSWITCH on the asterisk website.  They are annoyed that we exist.  You don't want there to be competition in open source then go talk to them.  They are the only software to even use the word compete that I have met so far.  We have ClueCon every year where we work together with every open source project you can think of.  So you may want to go do your homework more............

You have insulted me and all of the volunteers who have spend hundreds on the documentation by taking a quick scan of our site and jumping to conclusions.  The time it took you to write this email annoying me, you could have helped document something instead.  Now I hope you do the right thing and apologize to them.  Don't bother with me, it's them you owe the apology cos they are doing it all just because they want to and for no other reason.

I am sorry it takes you so long to understand FreeSWITCH but that is not my problem.  This is my software for me to do whatever I want with and you are someone who is choosing to use it so it's your dilemma to learn how to work it or to decide if you prefer another alternative but when you do so.  Do it with more respect and try to imagine how much work it takes to provide you with something that just works when you type "make"

On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 5:38 AM, Sunil Singh <sunil.d.admin at gmail.com> wrote:


After going through the documents, I feel that the documents assume that the guy who is going to use freeswitch is well versed with asterisk or is an asterisk user who is going to switch to freeswitch from asterisk. Its not from the point that somebody from scratch can appreciate it for its design or any other thing. 

I appreciate the point of consideration for a large community, but for freeswitch to be the best it has to wipe out that they know asterisk. They should believe more on its users rather than what asterisk is doing. Once a basic level is reached than it should be user driven rather than asterisk driven. If we compete with them in mind than eventually we will mess up. 

To be honest the beauty of asterisk lies in its simplicity. I was reading freeswitch for hours and still struggling. Whereas in asterisk I started and within hours I am up and running.

I also realised that in asterisk I didn't find a document talking about freeswitch but in freeswitch its only about, with asterisk in mind. Whether they are documents or working.

Comparisions will not allow to grow beyond a limit, we will always be living in a psycho complex, leaving us with pain, agaony and anger. 

We should love what we are doing, and we want to make a universal platform thats it. No point in comparision and running for a race. Most of the open source are started by technology lovers that's it. They don't create a technology to compete, they want to create a new technology and that's why I started using freeswitch that its going to create a new revolution which asterisk has lost because of monetary considerations.

So I request to please love what we are doing and when ever we are making a document think that its for a novice.

I request those who are driving it, please listen to your users more. If you have started from scratch than let's some beauty come out of it, a disruptive way of working. Like Apache, mysql ......  Ease of use is the main thing for a starter or anybody else. Even it may be a best but if its not simple than people are not going to use it and too much mention of asterisk in the doc will end up people trying asterisk more rather than using freeswitch. 

The guys whom we are targetting today may not be there, there will be a new generation and we should drive it with them in mind.

I hope we all give it a thought and think from a novice point of view. 

Be a BOLT win with a self confidence and create only records.


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Anthony Minessale II

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