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AstriDevCon 2016 – A Recap

By Matt Fredrickson

For those of you who were unable to attend, AstriDevCon this year at Phoenix continued to impress. There were 39 people signed up, and at least 43 (and probably more – walkins are common) who actually attended.

In terms of structure, AstriDevCon is mostly free form, with the number one item of the day being to plan the topical agenda for the rest of the meeting.  It lasts for one day and is usually filled with great discussions between prominent members of the Asterisk community and with topics ranging between code level discussion all the way up to project level policy.  We were grateful this year to have lunch sponsored by a company called e4 so that we could better focus on important questions regarding development and the Asterisk project.

Of the many topics brought up, I thought that I might highlight three of particular interest:

1. Discussion about transitioning of users from chan_sip to chan_pjsip

There was a lot of discussion about how we can help people migrate forward from chan_sip to chan_pjsip. As many of you may know, chan_pjsip is chan_sip’s successor.  Some of the common complaints against it are that the configuration paradigm is quite different than chan_sip and this learning curve keeps many people from wanting to move forward with migrating.  Although there are great tools available to help, such as George Joseph’s configuration wizard module and Kevin Harwell’s sip_to_pjsip.py that can convert a sip.conf to pjsip.conf, many people are not aware of those tools.  One suggestion was to make it so that chan_pjsip could actually read a sip.conf natively if desired.  Another suggestion was to change the configuration constructs and paradigm to something that’s more familiar to users rather than being so closely mapped to the underlying programming structures.

2. Presentation about binaural (positional) audio support being added by Dennis Guse

There has been some work on Asterisk by Frank Haase and Dennis Guse to add stereo and positional audio support to Asterisk conferences.  This project is known as the STEAK project, and you can read more about it at http://steakconferencing.de/.  We were lucky to have Dennis present at AstriDevCon this year, and he shared a presentation to the development community about their work and progress, as well as petitioned for more code reviews on their work so that it could be merged into mainline Asterisk.

3. Proposal to help better organize the Asterisk community with goal oriented working groups

There was also a petition by Dan Jenkins to better organize the efforts of the community by the creation of working groups that can independently work on specific goals or even ongoing work efforts, similarly to how the node.js community operates.  Some discussion was had about how this might work, but the general idea is that the groups would have some sort of charter, a group leader (or leaders), and for those that have completable goals, a clear understanding of when those goals are met.  The discussion around this continued after AstriDevCon on the mailing list as well, and is still be considered as a way to better organize those who would like to contribute.

That’s just a short list of interesting things of the many things that were discussed at AstriDevCon 2017.  To read more about some of the other topics, you can review the AstriDevCon notes at: https://wiki.asterisk.org/wiki/display/AST/AstriDevCon+2016

For those of you that have a development oriented interest in Asterisk, we hold AstriDevCon at the annual AstriCon. Announcements about it are usually sent on the asterisk-dev mailing.  One place to start learning about the contribution process can be found here.  If you would like to attend next year, please pay attention to that list in the months leading up to AstriCon for more information about it.  I hope to see many new faces next time.

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Matt Fredrickson

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