Is anyone looking at these forums?

If I am going to be “yelled” at by a member of the FreePBX Development Team for hijacking a thread with a totally different question, then the FreePBX team needs to do a much better job of addressing the questions that are being asked in the forums.

I did a sort of the “Users” forum, and discovered there are 65 pages of posts that have not received a single response. The oldest one is almost four (4) years old.

If this is the care and attention given to those who are willing to be on the cutting edge, who have and are using beta releases, then you should not expect anyone to use paid support.

Suddenly, I don’t feel as bad that my question has not been answered for almost 3 days.

It is a holiday weekend and slow. This is a busy forum sometimes things get overlooked.


This is a FreePBX is user supported. I’ll ask you…how many posts have you answered. By the way…there are manuals. I’ve got at least three.


There are manuals available, FreePBX should come with an official manual to help fund the project with a suggested donation etc. I would but one today. I have printed out the various asterisk free ebooks and had them bound at Staples.


yes there are a lot of people who look at these forums. The purpose of them is not for the Development to be sitting here answering User questions but for the community as a whole to help each other. (Although you will find quite a bit of the developers over time who do spend a lot of time in here or on some of the IRC channels).

I see that you have recently made one post:

which does not necessarily have anything to do with FreePBX or at least from the information you provided. There is no trace showing what Asterisk might be doing when that happens etc. I don’t think it would be very productive if all sorts of people responded ‘no problems here’ and apparently no one who read it has had problems as you described nor is there any information they can help you with.

You also had a post about a year ago:

the crux of it was the system complaining because it could not connect to the manager. That is an issue that you will find hundreds of posts in many different forums including this one, describing the reasons why this may be happening. I can tell you as anyone who has spent time in forums and seen the same questions asked repeatedly, that most long timers just don’t answer them anymore knowing that a little searching or a possible quick visit to the IRC channel will typically set the person straight.

I also see where you posted your request that you were asked not to hijack the thread:

and mickecarlsson asked you not to hijack the thread on this issue. Now for kieranmullen3 I’ll make sure you are aware that mickecarlsson does not offer or partake in any of the paid support business, but I guess more on that in a moment. Whether you meant to hijack the thread, of which it sounds like you really did not, obviously people were watching the posts or you would not have gotten a response. And as it stands, mickecarlsson is one of the very generous developers who gives immense amounts of hist own personal time as well as his company’s time back to the project in appreciation of what it has brought him and them. And if you click on mickecarlsson’s profilet and check his track record you will see he has contributed hundreds of posts, and I can assure you that most of them are not just asking people to not hijack a thread.

Beyond those 4 posts that show up on your record, there are no more and thus none that are answering other people’s questions. Now I am not implying that you or anyone has an obligation to answer other people’s questions but as I mentioned at the beginning, it’s a forum for the community to help each other and the only thing that will make it truly successful is when everyone pitches in.

Now concerning [quote=kieranmullen3]I gues if they did that then peopel would not hire them for support or training. Probably the same reason why there is no manual. I guess you can’t blame them after all since they got the bal rolling on this project and invested time in it.[/quote]
I’m honestly not quite sure what to make of it. First of all there is an implied ‘they’ as if there is a single group who developed FreePBX, provides support and training. So let’s make sure that there is no confusion here:

Paid support is available in many different ways. FreePBX has an ‘official’ channel which is there because of constant request from resellers, integrators and the occasional end users. I can also tell you that people involved in that paid support have also been some of the biggest contributors back to the project specifically and the overall ecosystem in general. I can also tell you that I have seen countless contributions that originated in such paid support channels quickly find their way back as bug fixes or enhancements so as to avoid more community members having to stumble across the same issues, and either spend a lot of their own time fixing things or otherwise paying someone else to do such.

Training - I fail to understand how involvement in the forums or not has anything to do with people coming to training and I can tell you first hand that we have never had a person come to a training because they were not able to get the help they were looking for elsewhere. (With one exception, we have had people come to our trainings because they had been to trainings else where and found them inadequate, and were looking for deeper and more comprehensive information).

Manuals/Documentation - There are many sources of documentation available from various locations. You can find a book on FreePBX if you look around and you can find many well written documents typically oriented at various distributions like Elastix, trixbox, PIAF and others but which substantially cover FreePBX. That is in addition to this site where anyone in the community who wants to contribute to improving or providing new documents is welcome and we have never turned down anyone who has asked for permission levels that would allow them to modify 99% of the site documentation areas.

So - I guess the crux of all this is that the help and evolution of this site and project comes from the whole, not a few developers who already put tremendous amounts of their own personal time to further the project. (Although you will find those same developers actively helping users through different means none the less…)

p.s. This weekend also happens to be a long holiday weekend for many people in the US, so you will find things a bit quieter around here this weekend as well.

oi! I thought I was helping making a case for not against freepbx.
I think the project is great. I can’t complain about support.
I have not contributed. Perhaps I should just stay away from posts like the first one…


go back and read what you wrote and imagine someone coming along and reading it.

[quote=kieranmullen3]oi! I thought I was helping making a case for not against freepbx.
I think the project is great. I can’t complain about support.
I have not contributed. Perhaps I should just stay away from posts like the first one…

It gives the impression that a group of developers are sitting on the side lines watching users struggle with issues, unable to find good documentation and help, and thus waiting for them to come flocking over with their wallets open seeking help.

That would be quite un-ethical in my book. It would be as bad as if the paid support team were off patching individual user systems when bugs were found, but never getting them back into the code base so as to make sure more customers came around with the same issues. (Which is about as far from reality as you can get…)

So whether your intent was in defense or justifying some perceived behavior, maybe you can see that now that it is very far from the situation.

The reason for me to answer with “do not hijack” was that the question contained, IMHO, to little information and was not related to the original question.
I suspected that if it was working with X-lite and not with the Aastra it was not related to FreePBX or Asterisk but a mis-configured Aastra. That is why I also wrote “Create a new thread instead”.

The thread that the question was posted in is a thread with 32 posts, not all forum members have the time or energy to read the complete thread to discover the same thing as I did, and they tend to not answer.

If the question was asked in a new thread the chance of it getting a reply is much greater.

I do read all posts here on the forum, if I cant answer I do not reply, if I can give a little bit of information or hint on how to proceed I do so. Even if it is a “do not hijack, please post in a new thread”.
If there is detailed information in a question it would get more answers, I am absolutely sure of that.

fskrotzki wrote a post two years ago that I wished could be “sticky”, read-only and without the replies:

One of the problems that I see is that FreePBX is used by a many distributions of Asterisk. This makes it difficult to troubleshoot someone else’s setup. I come from the PBX in a Flash (PiaF) distribution that uses FreePBX. I’m more active on the PiaF forums because I have the same base install as the other PiaF users and can verify their settings easier.

This forum is much more difficult to help in troubleshooting because of the vast difference in versions of Asterisk, FreePBX and Linux. I also find that the typical person looking for help usually doesn’t describe his problem adequately and state his setup.

When I view the forums, I make it a point of looking at the postings that have no response first. Unfortunately, most fall in the previously stated category with not enough information supplied for me to understand what the problem is.

I’m quite appreciative of the work that the developers have done with FreePBX and PiaF. So my way of contributing is to create “howtos” and to aid others in this forum and PiaF forum. I’ve been playing with Asterisk for over 3 years now and feel that I’m just touching the surface of its capabilities.

The more popular it becomes, the more opportunities it provides and unfortunately more demand is pressured on the developers. The title of O’Reilly’s book “Asterisk: the Future of Telephony” sums it up perfectly.

If someone is going to be offended for violating for hijacking a thread with a totally different question, then they need to spend more time helping answer the 65 pages of posts that have not received a single response or use paid support.

It is likely that if no one answered, either 1) your problem is already answered, 2) you did not spend enough time to describe your problem, the problem is very poorly written, grammatically or spelling, 3) no one else has had your problem, or you hijacked a thread.

If you get an aswer from a hijack you should also expect an answer that is totally off-base and confusing to anyone reading, and spend a lot of time on wild goose chases.

Better to spend time, entering the pertinent info to your specific problem.

This is a free community forum. You get what you give.

I can vouch for mickecarlsson’s great and thorough answers.

I am hardly offended.

I never intended to hijack a thread, I have way too much experience to do it intentionally.

I’ve been giving to the Internet community and helping others for years, and I have the gray hair to prove it. (Ok, maybe the gray hair proves nothing beyond my age.)

And Cliffster, if you are going to offer reasons why somebody’s thread is not responded to that include “poorly written, grammatically or spelling”, you should realize that I am responding to your post in spite of the fact that it has has grammatical and typographical errors.

I appreciate that you understand that I did not intend to hijack the thread. In one of the asterisk prints included in that thread, I saw something similar to what I was seeing in my asterisk console. Hence my observation really that there was an additional problem with the Aastra phone.

I also value the work you all do, and from maintaining my own systems I know the challenge that can be. In that regard I’m glad I started this conversation, because I can’t be the only one frustrated, and you’ve had the opportunity to set the record straight.

I assure you I am a huge fan of the FreePBX project. And when I can pitch in, I most certainly will.

I can hardly wait to ditch Asterisk, and move to FreeSWITCH. I had an installation of that partially working, but I needed to put something in a production environment, so I went back to what I knew worked.

In the mean time, I do want to help myself, but I’ve been spending days trying to get to the bottom of these issues. If paid support would get me where I need to be, I might then be in a better position to help others.

I did spell my aswer incorrectly, didn’t I? But I did not mean that your question was difficult to read, but many are.

Just defending the forum.

Now I’m getting a chuckle out of this! I have gotten many of the answers I need from this forum as well. It was the frustration of not getting any response to a thread I started, coupled with being accused of hijacking a thread that got me looking at how many people have started threads, and gotten no responses.

Perhaps I could create a sticky post for people who want to help!

The presumption is that everyone is a Linux expert, knows how to copy the output of the Asterisk console to the forum, can locate and use the right commands to check out a version, or use RPM to install some new component. (Not to mention permissions, and rights!!)

I could go on with the list, but hopefully that makes the point. Some folks who can think logically, may simply lack the training necessary to make sense of the problem enough to describe it in technical terms.


Glad to hear that you aren’t offended. I am not a Linux guru either. It can be difficult for us tadpoles.

As someone who has provided Tech Support for the last 24 years, I find this challenging, trying to find step-by-step installation, and troubleshooing guides for newbies. I am trying to piece together a manual specific to our system. On the other hand it is hard to help without info.


Sounds like we’ve been at this about the same amount of time! Part of me wishes I stuck with Computer Science, and part of me is thrilled that I added business to that mix!

The business stuff has not changed… but the computer side… well that’s another story!!

What if there was a way to groom the forum and place these posts in a “Need More Information” folder, then everyone would understand that the reason the issues are not being addressed by the community is because more information is needed.

I love programming. Have worked in 186 and 8X305 machine code. Learned 8080, 6502, Z80, 68020, BASIC, JCL, PCL, and even COBOL way back when. Lately I write HTML, CSS, XHTML, and am learning XML and Javascript just for fun.

But I also love doing the Tech Support. That is my primary job and what I do with my idle work time.

I learned, the hard way, it is difficult at best to write code and take calls at the same time.

The business side. I have done that. You can have it. :slight_smile: