I think we’re pretty much ready to go for 2.2, but don’t expect anything until I come back. I’d like to spend a bit of time working on the Backup and Restore module, which does seem to be doing some strange things, and I’ll hopefully get time to do that while I’m down there. I’ve also been thinking about what we’re going to do for 2.3, and there’s one thing that I’ve been thinking about -‘Shoutcast’ Music-on-hold streams – in fact, a bit of a rewrite of Music-on-hold alltogether. Currently we use format_mp3.so, the asterisk module that plays MP3s. This did seem like a good idea at the time, but I’ve had one machine, and heard of another, crash asterisk due to an MP3 that it’s not happy with. I think I’d like to convert them to asterisks sln format. This is pretty much impossible to have ‘corrupt’, as even if there is garbage in the file, it will just play static. This will require ‘lame’ again. I was hoping to avoid that, as I’ve been working to reduce the required packages, but this asterisk bug can cause your machine to behave in a very nasty way, I think that may need to happen.
Speaking of Asterisk Bugs, in 2.2rc1 we’ve introduced a Work-around for what Digium consider a ‘Feature’, but we consider a Bug. Whilst IAX2 is a really nifty protocol, it does have some limitations. In this case, if you don’t specify a caller ID on an IAX call, Asterisk treats that as ‘hide callerID for this device’, no matter what happens to the call from then on. As we rely on the CallerID of extensions (and in fact, we over-ride it, so it can’t be ‘spoofed’ by someone trying to be smart) for Follow-Me, DND, Call Forward, etc settings, this was breaking a lot of things.
Good news, too – Aastra have sent me a pair of phones. I am now the proud owner of a 480i and 9133 SIP phone. Whilst I haven’t actually plugged them in yet, many thanks go to Aastra for supporting the open source community. People keep telling me that they’ve got really good audio quality, so I’ll get to find that out for myself. I’ll probably be happily surprised, as my desk phones are a GXP2000 and an old PAP2 plugged into an ancient analog phone! They do look very shiny, too, but I’m unsure if they’ll take the place of my ‘Highly Recommended’ Snom 360’s (mainly due to the 12 BLF-capable buttons on the Snoms). Time will tell.
It’s also good to meet up with people who are using Asterisk, or freePBX, socially. I was in Longreach on Wednesday, and met up with a couple of traditional phone guys in the Pub there who are just starting to get into Voice over IP, and mentioned that they’d just started playing with Asterisk. I pointed them to Trixbox, and freePBX, so they’ve got something shiny to play with and show their customers.