[asterisk-dev] Rhino incorporating into zaptel tree

Oron Peled oron.peled at xorcom.com
Sun Jan 27 04:42:46 CST 2008

On Sunday, 27 בJanuary 2008, you wrote:
> Why would anyone consider adding our (Rhino) code to zaptel when they
> compete with Digium who maintains the repo?

[note: I'm not speaking for Xorcom or Digium, just myself]

You have a valid question, but the answer is not always so clearcut as you
think -- your assertion assume that Asterisk/Zaptel filled the telephony
market to such a level that Digium/Xorcom/Rhino/What's not, plays a zero-sum
game -- A sale for Rhino is a lost sale for Digium.

I think the situation is very far from this. In practice, most
Asterisk/Zaptel sales replace traditional "walled-garden" solutions. This
market is so huge (and contains such extreme profit margins) that it can
contain many Rhino's, Xorcom's and Digium's, specializing in different niches
without the need to cannibalize each other.

As a similar example, think how many people *wrongly* assume that Red-Hat
must be mad about Centos people that "compete" with their business.

What we see from prior examples in the free-software world (kernel, gcc)
is that cooperation between companies inhabiting the same market is
possible if it's done *carefully*. Obviously, each company has its own
agenda and so this is a delicate balancing act.

> We've based our drivers on the works of Mark Spencer and Jim Dixon. Their
> names are in the credits of everything we publish that we borrowed this way.

This is indeed an important act on the part of any open-source player
as it's the first level of required trust between players.

> Tzafrir Cohen and Oren Pelled from Xorcom are the only people I know that
> have successfully submitted hardware specific code into zaptel that was not
> Digium. Those guys are soldiers of this project, and spend WAY too much time
> keeping their code in there.

[typo? It's Oron and not Oren]

Actually, most of the gratitude for this time should be given to the
people that pays us to do this (Xorcom). We just try to spend this time
effectively. So far we feel that any advancement in Zaptel/Asterisk benefitted
*our* customers and enabled better value proposition in comparison to
the legacy telephony systems.

> ... and all I can say to them is that I sleep, and they don't.
> They are now responsible for more than %50 of the code.

And I hoped nobody would notice my code-bloat... please Bob, be more
discreet next time ;-)

> We like the fact that zaptel is a trademark that is not held by digium.

The trademark issue is definitely a delicate one. Exploiting a brand in
the wrong may render it worthless. I think the latest mishaps regarding
the Asterisk trademark made Digium more aware to the responsibility that
it carries with it.


Oron Peled                             Voice/Fax: +972-4-8228492
oron at actcom.co.il                  http://www.actcom.co.il/~oron
ICQ UIN: 16527398

"The future is here,  it's just not evenly distributed yet." 
        - William Gibson

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