The community is trying to help

Ah, here we go, Monday—the official day for me to don the cape of criticism. Can’t remember the last time I unleashed a tirade, but hey, it’s been a whopping few days. The most heartwarming experience as a contributor? Feeling like you’re part of a grand symphony, not just playing to the sound of crickets. I’ve got a special spot in the FreePBX hierarchy—I’ve birthed a chunk of its code, and boy, am I the squeakiest wheel in town. Drop a PR, and it’s like a VIP express lane, handled within days, sometimes hours. Yeah, I’m that guy.

Despite my knack for scrutinizing management (it’s a talent, really), I’ve fostered a sweet professional relationship with most of the team. But, let’s not forget the unsung heroes—the folks who deserve a nod from the current team. Take @miken32, for example. You won’t spot him in your day-to-day forums, but he’s been the unsung hero, testing major releases since the days of yore. Oh, and he’s the Patch Santa Claus—report a bug, and he brings a gift-wrapped solution. Unfortunately, he and everyone else now commits the cardinal sin of reporting bugs in forums, but hey, without a ticket system this is the way.

And let’s talk about that PR gathering dust, patiently waiting to fix a certman bug that’s been haunting us like a ghost from the past.

I’ve dedicated my career to turning FreePBX into a haven for contributors. Picture this—an army of community developers, marching to the beat of open-source glory. Sadly, reality check: most users don’t code or care to give back. So, when someone does, we should roll out the red carpet, not treat it like yesterday’s leftovers. It pains me to see a project I believed in devolve into amateur hour. A decade of progress, processes, and implementations—all gone. Now, we’ve got clandestine development, a lack of QA structure, no timelines, and a bug tracker that’s just a repository waiting for a makeover. On the bright side, embracing “no ticket, no bug” means, without a ticket system, FreePBX is bug-free. Bravo.

Can we, pretty please, up our game for these unsung heroes?


Thank you for the recognition; I’ve been contributing since 2008 (reporting bugs, contributing bug fixes and new features, turning down job offers) so I have seen a lot of ups and downs in the project since the days when it was basically a one-man show run by Philippe. I try not to get too snarky about things, but yeah: going months without a ticketing system is a pretty big WTF moment.

I’m hopeful that the move to Github will make contributing easier again, but you’re right that the vast majority of users just want to use the software without giving back.


Re “clandestine development” that’s been a recurring complaint since the project first went commercial more than 10 years ago. There’s definitely a kernel of truth to many of those complaints, but a lot are overblown IMO.

Currently my chief annoyance in that department is that changelogs used to be helpful but are now filled with loads of “version bump” and “FREEI” notes that tell you nothing. And I’m not 100% sure that the code on GH is really the latest and greatest; certainly mirroring was being considerably delayed when there was a self-hosted Git repo, and development on 17 was being done somewhere else, unless they really just started work on it in late autumn.

What I’d like to see is a complete rethink of the codebase, similar to what OPNSense have done with the pfSense project. Too many of the fixes to get v17 working on PHP 8.2 are just patchwork solutions. I still come across code from the v2 days fairly regularly and it’s not pretty lol. I know Andrew started that process with BMO but it did not get as far as was (and still is) needed.


Thank you for your contribution sir.

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