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Backup Module Ideas - and a Few OTTS Seats Left

The backup module has been a long time member of the available FreePBX modules. It has been well received and has helped many users recover from potential disasters, and for that we are all very grateful. It has also been plagued by various issues and has been one of those modules that many felt could really use an overhaul but at the same time, it's not the most exciting module that attracts interest from the volunteer development team.


A Quick Update to Start the New Years

You may have noticed quite a few module updates available (for those of you running 2.5, which we hope is most of you). Although it seems like a lot there is really not much to it.

Module Updates

New Years Hat

There were a handful of minor bug fixes in half a dozen of the modules that have been sitting in the repository unpublished. tango The rest of the updates were language updates that were already available through the language pack module. We just thought with the New Year, we would get all the modules in sync as it makes it easier for us to manage and make sure when real bug fixes are checked in, we get them published and out quickly.


FreePBX Site Gets a Facelift

With the holidays fast approaching and the exciting new things coming we thought it was time to freshen things up and give the site a nice clean look. We've been busy with CSS magic and challenges with drupal and Sledge has gotten really creative with our favorite mascot. We hope you like what you see.

There's no under construction sign up but if you run into a few glitches over the next week, that's probably why. Let us know what you like (and what you don't) and we will try to tweak things as best we can.


A Bright Future for FreePBX

Over 4 years ago, FreePBX, then known as AMP, started a course to disrupt the traditional PBX market by changing the game on the existing black box telephone industry. In this short time the Open Source process has been able to surpass what has taken the industry decades to accomplish. With millions of downloads, an installed base counted in the hundreds of thousands, and almost every successful Open Source PBX distribution basing itself off of FreePBX, our project has clearly proven itself as a leader in this telephony revolution!


One Day of Lost Data on Trac

For those of you who keep a close eye on the development site you will notice that some data has just been deleted. I unfortunately corrupted the database in error trying to remove some profanities in some ticket comments. I restored it to the last snapshot that was taken which is about 3/4 of a day old. There should be nothing major lost.


AsteriskNOW goes FreePBX and a Great Time at Digium

It looks like our most recent Open Telephony Training Seminar at Digium's Headquarters was a success beyond our wildest dreams! Digium was so impressed with FreePBX, our community (as represented by the class attendees), the great attitude of everyone (who else has participants set up camp with their RV in the Digium parking lot), and the project as a whole that they went off and created AstriskNOWTMwhile I was on the plane returning from Huntsville!

I must admit the announcement was not a complete surprise, having used our captive audience last week as a test bed for the new AsteriskNOW distribution which went very smoothly. If you are looking for a clean ISO with out a lot of extra fluff, this is an excellent option to consider. Although it is still in beta with a few minor known issues that are being addressed, I expect it to come out strong.

The most recent OTTS training was well received and our class was the first to get the revised material focusing on the great FreePBX 2.5 release that went final last month. We also heard much positive feedback about the quality time spent with Mark Spencer, Danny Windham and other Digium Asterisk developers during the week and over dinner. (And I didn't hear any complaints from Tony who was kidnapped by Mark for a birds eye view of Huntsville in Mark's Diamond DA40XLS!)

With their great training facility, the wonderful hospitality everyone received and the overall exceptional experience, how could we not plan on coming back soon. So if you couldn't make it last week, here's your next chance:

January 20th-23rd, 2009, again in Huntsville, AL

If you couldn’t attend this last opportunity or want to be one of the first to come to the next AsteriskNOW/FreePBX training, then sign up early while we are still offering an un-advertised EARLYBIRD discount of $300 until the end of this month.

For now, we hope to see you in Huntsville but it’s time to get back to work. One of our developers has done some nice improvements embedding the audio player into the User Portal (Recording Interface / ARI – no more pop-up!) so we are off to get that into a short lived release candidate for that component so we can get it out to you quickly. If you would like to help accelerate that activity, you can aways "press here":


Philippe - On Behalf of the FreePBX Team!


FreePBX 2.5.0 is FINAL!

It’s old news to the hundreds of you who beat me to the punch and already responded to those automated email notices telling you that FreePBX 2.5.0 has gone final! All of us who have contributed to the success of this release are thrilled to see it pass this great milestone and for those of you who will be at Astricon next week, I hope to see you at one of the parties to celebrate this great achievement!


FreePBX 2.5 RC3, Feature Creep and OTTS Discounts

If you are one of the over 2500 testers (or production sites) then you’ve probably gotten that upgrade email about RC3. So what’s with the feature creep and why hasn’t 2.5 gone final yet? For those who just want to know about the training discount, it’s here at the end.

We released RC1 3 weeks ago expecting to have already gone final by now, given the unprecedented stability and super low bug count we were seeing. Going RC typically means final feature freeze as well, so what’s up?

Well, there just has not been enough cash flowing in and the family is a little upset that we have been ignoring them. So pressing this button will go a long way to bribe us into releasing:


Seriously though, great projects like ours become very infectious during development periods and all the new additions in 2.5 were just "fuel on the fire." We started the release with a few new developers to the project and about the time we chose to go release candidate, so came yet more enthusiastic developers with new features at various stages.

Running a project like this during such times presents its challenges to the leader (me). I need to balance between schedule, stability and still encourage new blood to keep motivated and contributing. This second waive presented just that. The hard core program manager tact would be to remain in feature freeze and get the current release out. But that is not very encouraging to the volunteer developers who would like to see their contributions recognized. So this time around I chose to allow the enthusiasm to spread while very carefully controlling what went in and assuring its quality. After all, when you see RC2 and RC3 in the release versions, you have a high expectation that we have earned and intend to keep.

However, at one point we need to drive toward closure and we are doing such with RC3. Since the stability has continued to remain extremely high with bug counts still near 0, and most bugs reported being existing bugs in the 2.4 and previous versions just now being reported, we expect that 2.5 should be final within 1-2 weeks.

Open Telephony Training Seminar Discount

So what’s new in the release and how do you get more information? If you want to be the first to get the detailed rundown, your best route is to sign up for our next Open Telephony Training Seminar to be held at Digium’s headquarters on October 7-10th, 2008. In order to encourage our readership to signup, we’re offering a FreePBX 2.5.0 discount special of just $1995 (that’s a $500 savings, just type LETSGOFINAL in the coupon code). The special is good “while supplies last” or until we release 2.5. (And since we don’t know exactly when that is, we’ll just say Fri, September 19th but we reserve the right to change that depending on how the release goes!)

If you can’t make it to our training but will be at Astricon this year, come visit. I’ll be speaking Wednesday morning at 9:45AM, come say hi!

For now, have fun with the new release, and don’t forget that donate button above will help get us motivated to go final!

Philippe - On behalf of the team


Beta1 Released!

I'm excited to announce that we've rolled a new tarball officially moving the 2.5 program into beta! We've had a strong testing period while we called it alpha and although the quality has been consistently reported as better than a beta we kept our terminology in order to keep it open for new features while you had a chance to start testing and evaluating what was there.

I'm excited to announce that there are currently 340 tickets closed against the current release, many of those being feature requests. As of this writing, there are only 2 bugs open! Given the amount of testing we have already seen, and with your help to start loading and testing the beta if you have not yet done so, we should be able to validate it quickly and move into a release candidate soon.

As I'm traveling this week I'll keep this announcement short. You can get a lot of information from the previous and first announcements that were made on the 2.5 Beta Program. You can load it up and help with the testing if you haven't already. You can show your support as always with the donate button:


For now, we hope that you have fun sorting through all the new big and small features! If you want to get an in depth view of FreePBX 2.5, sign up now for the next Open Telephony Training Seminar scheduled for early October.

Philippe - On behalf of the FreePBX Team