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GVoice In Flames No More

Discussion in 'Help' started by ghurty, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. What I don't get is why this problem only seems to affect Asterisk users, and not FreeSWITCH or Obihai device users. Anyway, I had an interesting comment posted yesterday on an article on my blog that I had posted back in March. After all this time I got a comment from someone at Digium, which is not all that encouraging:

    Funny to me how the FreeSWITCH and Obihai folks seem to realize that Google Voice support just might be important to a significant number of their users, yet Digium seems to act as though they can barely be bothered to support it at all (with the insinuation that if someone [strike]slipped them a bribe[/strike] paid them a bounty they might actually make it a higher priority). Very sad.
  2. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    When one considers the enormous resources that were invested in Skype (that has now gone down the tubes at Digium), it kinda makes you wonder. Of course, there were visions of sugar plums in that arrangement, unlike Google Voice.

  3. After I posted a comment in my blog saying the same thing I said above, Jonathan Rose showed up again and left this:

    I'm not even going to comment on developers not being allowed to take bounties vs. the solicitation to purchase a support license. You say tomato, I say… either way, they're basically saying that someone's going to have to pay before this gets fixed.

    I guess the first thought that jumps out at me is this: There are a lot of open source projects out there that never forget their roots. But it seems to me that the Asterisk folks have kind of forgotten that if it weren't for all the hobbyists and other non-commercial users that were willing to try Asterisk in the first place, it would have never developed to the point where it could be used reasonably reliably in a commercial setting. My second thought is, why did they even release Google Voice support in the first place if they were only going to effectively abandon it?

    Since we still don't know if Google Voice will continue their service (as we know it today) into 2012, I'll refrain from going off on a major rant (not that it would help anything anyway). But this just confirms my suspicion that Asterisk may have had its day in the sun as far as the experimenters and hobbyists are concerned, but now it's time for something else (FreeSWITCH?) to take the stage.

    I've pretty much stopped writing any new articles about Asterisk and things Asterisk-related because of attitudes like this. If they want to suddenly try to put the squeeze on us for money, they can find some other way to support their products. Ward, you've written many thousands of words in support of Asterisk and brought many users into the Asterisk fold — did Digium ever offer to compensate you for all you've done for them? And yet now they want money to fix an issue in a module that they developed, but that's primarily used in non-corporate settings? It just really feels like they have forgotten all the "little people" who helped them get to where they are today.
  4. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Haven't Seen Any Checks Yet

    My guess is that the basic rationale for releasing it was the fact that FreeSWITCH released a similar module and embarrassed the hell out of them.
  5. Round 3! Jonathan posted this:

    And I replied:

    (I had referenced the Digium blog post in one of my comments just above this series of exchanges on my blog, so I sort of assume he may have noticed that earlier mention).

    I'm just really incredulous that it would take "costly resources" to fix this problem — I think that's just an excuse for not digging in and actually fixing the problem. Does anyone think I'm being too hard on the guy?
  6. And yet one more post from our friend Jonathan Rose:

    I'm tired and it's late (this was posted at 2:24 am according to WordPress) so I think I'm going to refrain from commenting further. In the end it just feels like we're getting the brush-off and that all the comments in this forum and on my blog don't even get noticed by the Digium folks.
  7. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    The unfortunate part of this is we have literally thousands of people that use Google Voice reliably with PIAF all day, every day. Not many of us frequent "their lists" because of the raft of :shitb: that sometimes flows from asking a question or posting a comment. C'est la vie.
  8. DaveTap

    DaveTap New Member

  9. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    If you want a good snapshot of how far removed these folks are from reality, take a look at this Google Voice thread on SlickDeals this morning announcing that Google Voice calling was again free in the U.S. and Canada for 2012. It received over 5,000 individual views in the first hour after posting! 10,000 more in the second hour. 10,000 more in the next two hours.
  10. lgaetz

    lgaetz Pundit

    Mr. Rose is (probably) sincere when he states that there is little demand for improved compatibility for GV, if that opinion is based solely on their own issue tracker. Of course, regular readers on this forum will conclude the exact opposite; GV issues account for a fair bit of the traffic here. The truth almost certainly falls somewhere in between. Digium's triage strategy of addressing the most serious issues first, seems to me to be the only reasonable way to allocate limited resources. But the success of this strategy is completely dependent on the initial triage diagnosis. To extend the metaphor, if the triage nurse fails to notice a serious symptom, the patient may end up suffering as a consequence of being assigned a low priority. If Digium's only gauge of determining the severity of an issue is the amount of traffic in their own ticket system, they risk only considering the requirements of those who have a pre-existing relationship with them, existing relationships (it need hardly be said) built largely without GV support.

    As a PIAF user, I am far removed from the Asterisk nuts and bolts. For support my first recourse is the internet, then this forum, then the FreePBX forum. I doubt I would even create an account for the purpose of posting to the Digium issue tracker, hoping of course, that not everyone behaves as I do.

    My own opinion is that Digium has underestimated the necessity of good GV support for Asterisk. With the recent announcement that GV remains free for the following year, with the enormous initial popularity of the Obihai devices, with the rapid growth of g+ and whatever that will eventually mean, it seems to me that Digium should be a bit more proactive on this issue. The time for shaking out the bugs is now, not when they suddenly realize there is an huge unserviced demand.
  11. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Designing any system based upon the squeaky wheel is wrong on so many levels that it would take a book to detail all of them. In fact, there are lots of books in any MBA program that already do. What's missing in the equation is V-I-S-I-O-N.

  12. lgaetz

    lgaetz Pundit

    Triage is not the same as greasing the squeaky wheel, or it need not be. You wouldn't want the polar opposite of triage either; forging ahead with a predefined strategy regardless of the requirements of your user base. You want to strive for a balance. As soon as judgement comes into play on what that balance should be, you can expect that everyone will have a differing opinion on where that balance should be struck.

    We should not lose sight (pun intended) of the fact that, in this instance, there is an individual willing to discuss the issue rationally without the rhetoric that occasionally creeps into these types of discussion. IMO, it's not fair to criticize Digium for lack of vision when engaged in a conversation that could ultimately shape that vision.
  13. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Agreed. My apologies. :angelb:
  14. Perhaps Digium was hesitant to put resources into Google Voice because they considered GV a dead-end. Had free GV calls ended this year as originally anticipated, the demand for GV in asterisk would have undoubtedly died off to almost nothing.

    Now that we have another year of free GV, perhaps Digium will give GV a bit more priority.

    Given the history of Digium's general lack of interest in pursuits that don't directly make them money (which I don't fault, BTW), why not start looking at moving to freeswitch and blue.box?

    I understand that there is a TREMENDOUS amount of work that's been put into the existing PiaF, and leaving that behind would be painful, but I just don't see the situation improving with asterisk, and to a lesser extent, FreePBX.
  15. After I got a little bit of sleep, this is the response I posted to Jonathan:


  16. Unfortunately, I feel just as you do about both these projects (other than that I probably would not have used the words, "to a lesser extent"). I hope that some progress is being made on that project using "other" software that we shouldn't be talking about yet! ;)
  17. tm1000

    tm1000 Schmoozecom INC/FreePBX

    Progress is being made....thats all I can say :wink5:

  18. tiggerpaws

    tiggerpaws Member

    Well, just call me a half-geek.

    I love the GUI with the option to add
    hand coded tweaks.
  19. fizadmin

    fizadmin Guru

    I'll be perfectly honest, were I Digium I would not invest heavily in supporting a service that could or could not continue to exist, on the whim of Google.

    Sure, it may be free for another year in 2012, but the uncertainty of future support would not motivate me to invest resources to support it. I wouldn't fault Digium for not doing anything.
  20. Well, I would, and I do. When everybody else that offers Google Voice support can fix their stuff, and when Asterisk doesn't even include the patch to chan_gtalk.c necessary to make incoming calls work reliably, then you have to wonder why they even bother to include the gtalk module in Asterisk. It's an embarrassment to them and says nothing good about their coding skills. It's part of the reason why I personally now consider Asterisk as :001_9898b: - it's one of those pieces of software that I'd drop in a heartbeat if there weren't a learning curve associated with going to something else.

    In my opinion, Asterisk has had its day in the sun, but that day is over. Even the guys at Hak5 were dissing Asterisk this week, and touting FreeSWITCH:


    Stick a fork in Asterisk, it's done. Unless the folks at Digium get a major attitude adjustment, that is.

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