Asterisk VoIP News

Friday, July 22, 2005

Xorcom Rapid 1.1 Released

Xorcom Rapid 1.1 is here.

* Asterisk 1.0.9
* Flash Operator Panel
* improved Zaptel hardware detection: should hopefully detect E1, T1 ZapHFC and qozap. No more channel numbers guessing in zapata/zaptel.conf
* and much of the "extra" software available for it

You can get the full details at:

so I'll just highlight the points that I believe are more relevant to the people here rather than a standard press-release. Warning: long post.

Xorcom Rapid is based on the current Debian Stable. This is not just Asterisk built from source on a certain system: we use native distribution packages. You can install just the parts you like. E.g: spandsp and the h323 channel (with their extra dependencies) are optional components. It is also possible to upgrade packages or the whole system.

It is a binary distribution. Some people really don't like that idea. They think that if you didn't built it from upstream source it's not worth it. Well, if you have such an attitude then why are you running a Linux/*BSD distribution? use LinuxFromScratch to build a system "like a real programmer", and come back to report how long it took you and if you eventually did get a better and more manageable result.

Binary distribution is by no means locked down. You need to apply some fixes to the source? a decent packaging system provides simple ways of extracting the original source, patching it, and building the result. Build your own debs. True, you may need to set up a separate build system, but then again, the whole build tool-chain is not needed for a PBX to run.

We tried to separate the configuration to smaller files. This should make it safer to use newer configuration that fixes and enhances the default, and yet maintain your local changes. We do want to make it easier for you to upgrade your system, so you won't be stuck with an old, broken Asterisk that "happened to work and you don't touch it".

That said, we do realise that the voodoo factor is still considerably large. We can't and won't try forcing upgrades on anybody's precious PBX system.

This version is based on 1.0 . However it seems that the CVS head is really not that far from becoming 1.2 . The next version of Rapid will be based on it. Debian is also supposed to start working with Asterisk "1.1" packages in the Experimental branch. In the near future we will probably continue backporting required packages from Unstable when necessary and maintain compatibility with Stable.

Vim is included, along with syntax highlighting for asterisk configurations. vim is not the default vi (nvi is much smaller, you know) but if you edit many files, you'd probably want to install it.

I am looking for improvements: e.g: when editing Apache's httpd.conf files or CSS files, the syntax highlighting is very good at spotting syntax errors. I have already added something simple in that direction (a line that begins with '#' and is not an 'include' will be coloured as an error), but I'd like to see more.

Also included in this release is a web-based configuration interface called DeStar . I'm interested to expose it to a larger crowd, so have a go with it.

I've included some scriptary to play convert MP3s (off line) to "phone quality" WAVs, and to play the WAVs with sox for the music-on-hold . I would appreciate input on what you'd expect there. e.j: add some randomisation to the "wav-player" scriptlet?

The detection of Zaptel PRI and BRI cards should detect channel numbers correctly. But the span parameters and such are generally my simple attempt to give sane defaults. If it doesn't work in your case, please let me know. As a general note, if a simple shell script can detect channel numbers so easily, why can't chan_zap do all the work by itself?

And another small thing to simplify the initial testing: iaxcomm.exe is included on the CD. For windows people it should run off the CD. One less thing to download.

We have also set up a mailing list for Rapid, so feel free to subscribe there and post questions to a smaller, more focused crowd: