There’s a goofy debate going on in the Asterisk community which ZDNet’s Dana Blankenhorn has written about.Â On the one hand, open source advocates say that Asterisk really is open source.Â After all, you can download the source code, and, well… change it, say…
Then there are a bunch of people who are saying — “hey, it’s not open enough unless the protocols are open”.Â Michael Slavitch goes further saying “Asterisk isn’t even an open SIP switch, it is a VOIP PBX that mustÂ translate SIP into its own media format, and is highly biased towardsÂ the use of proprietary hardware from Digium.”
Now, I know Slavitch a little, and as one of ObjectWorld’s leading strategists, I know thatÂ he knows that SIP is a signalling protocol, and not a media protocol.Â The statement attributed to him is clearly nonsensical.Â
Let’s suppose, though,Â that Asterisk did translate an open protocol into some internal format.Â Who would care?Â Moreover, if you really did find it objectionable, it’s open source.Â You can just… change it.
Arguing over the degree of openness of Asterisk is like arguing over whether sugar cones are better with sprinkles or without. The raison d’etre of a sugar cone is the ice cream, n’est ce pas?