“The v3 ISO is almost here…” and then the schedule slips again. If you’ve been around software long enough you know that release dates always slip. Luckily, unlike some of the big software giants out there, we try not to slip our schedules by years We also have an excuse, it’s Open Source, which makes it a bit harder to control the resources when almost all of them are community members donating their time to the project while often trying to run their own businesses as well! Here are some updates on the v3 ISO, version 2.8 and a popular third party module in need of help, Custom Contexts.
The v3 code is in pretty good shape as Darren pointed out in his blog last week. There are a handful of bugs that are being worked but what's a few bugs... and there is an upgrade capability in v3 to update the code, a precursor to its future "Module Admin" capability. For now the biggest delay is simply getting the ISO processes built so we can get some ISOs out to you.
Since v3 will run both Asterisk and FreeSWITCH we will have two ISOs initially, at least until we can get fancy to allow Asterisk or FreeSWITCH to be chosen during ISO install time. We seem to be in good shape on the Asterisk front. Bryan (GameGamer43) with Schmoozecom.com has offered to leverage their ISO process used for their robust commercial products and put together a CentOS 5 based ISO since they have all the required Asterisk RPMs build and readily available to generate one.
We are a little lacking on the FreeSWITCH front though. No one has stepped up to offer help in generating the FreeSWITCH RPM for the ISO. Talking with the great folks over in "FreeSWITCH Land" they do have a spec file that should build the required RPMs but we are looking for someone who is willing to do that so that we can get them over to Bryan to spin up the FreeSWITCH version of the v3 ISO. If you would like to help move things along, please let us know or even better, send us the RPMs!. (PM me if this is something you would be willing to help with!) We'll get it to the FreeSWITCH team as well so that they can make it available to anyone.
The 2.8 version has been moving along quite nicely and I'm not too far off from making it available to a larger audience. We originally had it pegged for the middle of May but just moved it into June to deal with the need to balance resources between v3 and 2.8, and get the Company Directory module out and tested which has been moving along but not yet finished.
The early beta testing drew attention to the fact that one of the popular third party modules, Custom Context, will no longer function due to changes we made in the outbound routing section of FreePBX. I previsouly warned about this and it was confirmed with the beta testing of 2.8. This has resulted in quite a few threads being spurred both in our forums as well as those of other distros that package FreePBX (whether they call it FreePBX or not...).
One of our community members, kenn10, decided to take it upon himself to see if he could rally up support from the community to find someone (with my help) to make the required changes and migrations to keep Custom Context in the mix given how important many community members indicated it was in the various forum discussions. I have helped facilitate his efforts by creating a dedicated page and setting up a paypal account to facilitate the collection of needed funds in order to get the module updated so that it continues to work in 2.8 and beyond. I've also spent a good amount of time reviewing what is needed to move it forward. (Of course I also contacted the original author to see if they were available to do the modifications (for pay or for free) but unfortunately they indicated that they are having trouble finding time to even sleep these days!)
The reaction has been a bit luke warm to this point considering some of the strong sentiments expressed of the importance of custom context to many resellers and businesses, so kenn10 is waiting patiently to see if the required funds can be raised in order to move forward with the required work. I'm hoping that this blog post may make a few more of you who are making a living off of FreePBX come forward and help make sure that you can continue to use custom context going forward.
If this module is important to you and/or your business, please help yourself and make sure it does not go End of Life! Here is the link with more information and where you can contribute to its future.
For now it's time to sign off, I'll be back in another week or so with more.
Philippe - on behalf of the FreePBX Team!