Telecommunications companies who choose to ignore Asterisk do so at their peril. The flexibility it delivers creates possibilities that the best proprietary systems can scarcely dream of. This is because Asterisk is the ultimate hacker's PBX .
If someone asks you not to use the term hacker,
Never in the history of telecommunications has a system so suited to the needs of business been available, at any price. Asterisk is an enabling technology, and, as with Linux, it will become increasingly rare to find an enterprise that is not running some version of Asterisk, in some capacity, somewhere in the network, solving a problem as only Asterisk can.
This acceptance is likely to happen much faster than it did with Linux, though, for several reasons:
Linux has already blazed the trail that led to
The telecom industry is crippled, with no leadership being provided by the giant industry players. Asterisk has a compelling, realistic, and exciting vision.
End users are fed up with incompatible, limited functionality, and horrible support. Asterisk
One of the compelling strengths of Asterisk is the
One of the more powerful side effects caused by the energy of the Asterisk community is the cooperation it has spawned among the telecommunications professionals, networking professionals, and information technology professionals who share a love for this
Still, if the dream of Asterisk is to be realized, the community must growyet one of the key challenges the community currently faces is a rapid influx of new users. The
Obviously, new users do not fit any particular kind of mold. While some will happily
To the members of the expert community, who (correctly) perceive that Asterisk is like a programming language, this approach doesn't make any sense. To them, it's clear that you have to immerse yourself in Asterisk to appreciate its subtleties. Would one ask for a step-by-step guide to programming and expect to learn from it all that a language has to offer?
Clearly, there's no one approach that's right for everyone. Asterisk is a different animal altogether, and it requires a totally different mindset. As you explore the community, though, be aware that there are people with many different skill sets and attitudes here. Some of these folks do not display much patience with new users, but that's often due to their passion for the subject, not because they don't welcome your participation.
As with any community, there are places where members of the Asterisk community meet to discuss matters of mutual interest. Of the mailing lists you will find at http://lists.digium.com, these three are currently the most important:
Anything commercial with respect to Asterisk belongs in this list. If you're selling something Asterisk-
The Asterisk developers hang out here. The purpose of this list is the discussion of the development of the software that is Asterisk, and its
This is where most Asterisk users hang out. This list generates several hundred messages per day and has over ten thousand subscribers. While you can go here for help, you are expected to have done some reading on your own before you post a query.
The Asterisk Wiki is a source of much enlightenment and confusion. A community-
Since Asterisk documentation forms by far the bulk of the information on this web site, and it probably contains more Asterisk knowledge than all other sources put together (with the exception of the
The Asterisk community maintains Internet Relay Chat channels on irc.freenode.net. The two most active are #Asterisk and #Asterisk-Dev . To cut down on spam-bot intrusions, both of these channels now require registration to join.
The Asterisk Documentation Project was started by Leif Madsen and Jared Smith. Many people in the community have
The goal of the documentation project is to provide a structured repository of written work on Asterisk. In contrast with the flexible and ad hoc nature of the Wiki, the Docs project is passionate about building a more focused approach to various Asterisk-related subjects.
As part of the efforts of the Asterisk Docs project to make documentation available online, this book is available at the http://www.asteriskdocs.org web site, under a Creative Commons license.