Asterisk, and other worldly endeavours.

A blog by Leif Madsen

Posts Tagged ‘asterisk book

Asterisk: The Definitive Guide — Call For Reviewers!

Here is the text I posted to the asterisk-doc mailing list this morning. You can sign up for asterisk-doc at and get involved! We’d love to make this the best book on Asterisk ever, and your input can make that true! Our goal is to build a book for, and by, the Asterisk community.

Hey all!

We’re getting VERY close to having the first draft of the next Asterisk book, Asterisk: The Definitive Guide ready to be sent off to production. We’re very close to meeting our target dates, but our review timeline is very tight. Only about 2 weeks!

Each morning we’re continuing to work on the book, taking in your comments, reviewing chapters, testing dialplan and installation steps, and all that good stuff.

However, we’ve been looking at this book since May 2010 and our eyes are starting to get glazed 🙂 We’d love for the community to have a look at the book and offer some constructive criticism.

It’s far too late to take requests for things to cover. What we have is what we’re going to get in for this edition. After we finish this book though we plan on continuing to update it, so there will be a chance to take suggestions again soon.

For now, head on over to and check out the book (updated this morning). There are a couple of bugs in the OFPS software which are causing comments to not be available after chapter 8, but we’re hoping to have those resolved by Friday. However, we do have this fancy mailing list that we can use.

Russell, Jim and myself will be monitoring this list for comments, and we’ll try and get all of them satisfied before publication. If there is a particular area we’re covering that you’re an expert in, we’d love to have you focus on that chapter. You can email me back directly for more information on what we might be looking for in that type of situation.

We do have editors to help with grammar and spelling, but pointing anything out is certainly useful. The best use of your time though is testing the dialplan snippets, the installation instructions for both Ubuntu and CentOS (we’re covering two Linux distributions this time around, which increases the testing load significantly), and making sure anything we’re explaining is concise, relates to what we’re talking about, and makes sense. The goal is to build an Asterisk system from scratch, so following through our dialplan via the chapters to make sure it all continues to build on itself would be ideal.

Additionally, if you see any sections which say, “see chapter XXX for more information” that are not links, please let us know, as those are meant to be placeholders until the chapters existed and we could link back to them. Now that all chapters are created, we should be linking to the appropriate locations. If you’re reading a section and notice a good spot to reference another part of the book (for example, lets say we’re talking about database functionality in one of the other chapters, and there is an appropriate spot in the Database Integration chapter to link to), then let us know!

Thanks for your interest! Books should be shipping sometime between March and April. Pre-orders are available now at And yes, we’ll be releasing under a Creative Commons license like the last two books, so you’ll have access to the book at any time online.

This book has been pretty much written from the ground up, and is well over 600 pages of content. It’s been a lot of work, but we hope you like it!

Russell, Jim and Leif.

Written by Leif Madsen

2011/01/06 at 10:22 am

Update on TFoT v3 Progress

Just another quick update on the progress of the 3rd edition of the Asterisk book. It’s been a bit slow coming, but Jim and I have renewed vigor and vigilance to be productive and get things done. Since the last update, there was a period of time where nothing got done unfortunately. We did get a lot done in the week off I took to focus on the book (I think we ended up writing about 2-3 new chapters, and updated a lot of the old ones), but then of course work got in the way.

This has really been the problem the whole time, or else we’d be working on the 4th edition at this point. So instead of dreaming about having more time to work on the book, and for that time to be allocated all chaotic and patchy, we’ve come up with a new method. Each morning we’re getting together for an hour between 8am and 9am where the amount of distractions is low, and the amount of energy is high. This way, we can get in a good 5 hours each week on the book, plus any additional time either of us is able to work on it separately.

It may not be the quickest way to get a book done, but we both have worked well in the past together on the other two editions and have always gotten lots accomplished, so we’re going to try this method out for a couple months and see how it goes. After a week of using it and not missing any time we’ve already gotten through 3 chapters of review and additional content. The method seems to be working, and is giving us some renewed energy to keep plugging away, hoping to have the book ready to launch along with Asterisk 1.8.0.

More information to come in the coming months.

Written by Leif Madsen

2010/02/19 at 9:39 am

Posted in Asterisk, Musings

Tagged with , , ,

New articles coming soon!

I have vowed to try and write at least ONE article per week on my blog, even if it is quite short. I’m not sure I will be able to get to write an article this week due to some pressing consulting issues, but I’m still gonna try. If anything, I’m going to cheat and say this is my post for *this* week. How about I make a rule that says I can only cheat once per month? 🙂

I wanted to let you know I have a couple of articles lined up for later this week and next week. They will deal with Asterisk Queue()’s as that is the area I have been spending the most time lately. They include:

  • Moving from the deprecated AgentCallbackLogin() application to a dialplan based solution
  • A series of articles (4-5 articles) on building a single system, hot-desking Agent queue system
  • The first draft of a complete re-write of chapter 3 of Asterisk: The Future of Telephony

The first bullet point is an issue I have been seeing on IRC and other forums for about 2 years, and which I want to solve by providing the necessary documentation on how to move from using AgentCallbackLogin() to a dialplan based solution as is the preferred method. I will create a dialplan subroutine which will hopefully make it easy to replace the calls to AgentCallbackLogin() with a GoSub().

The second bullet point is something I’m very excited about. I recently build a hot-desking solution for a client, and while building it was able to keep it quite general and didn’t need to add anything that wouldn’t be useful for the general population. I have received permission from the client (who will remain nameless for now) to utilize the configuration files I built for them in a series of articles detailing how to build the system from scratch. It is a win-win situation because you get to learn how I built the system, and they get some additional documentation on how the system works, and why things were built the way they were.

The third bullet point is a good deal amount of work, which is really just the start of a greater amount of work; the updating of Asterisk: The Future of Telephony, 2nd Edition, to a 3rd edition that covers the 1.6 series of Asterisk. I have recently gotten enough exposure to working with Asterisk 1.6 releases that I’m confident in being able to start on this grandiose project. I plan on using this blog as a test bed for some draft work.

So stay tuned for some exciting articles over the coming 2-3 weeks!

Written by Leif Madsen

2009/06/16 at 8:24 pm