Asterisk, and other worldly endeavours.

A blog by Leif Madsen

Posts Tagged ‘author

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

Suzanne Bowen Interviews Leif Madsen, Asterisk Rockstar

Today I had the privilege to be interviewed by Suzanne Bowen of DIDX.

You can find the interview at

Hope you enjoy!

Here is a description of the interview:

“Truth is that I “met” the authors of the book “Asterisk, the Future of Telephony” when I was an English teacher and had volunteered over email to help edit the documentation. It was a joy to interview Leif Madsen. The Asterisk rockstar* shares with us the history of how he became interested in voice, telephony, Asterisk and open source.

We discussed the “cliques or special interest groups” in telecommunications, in fact three.
1. Old style, keep it closed, don’t share, beat the competition, sell it at an inflated price, and it’s all about the money.
2. It should all be free and if you are not offering it free, you’re not one of us.
3. With a happy medium area of those who realize that people do need a paycheck to take care of their lives. At the same time, be willing to give back in an open source manner. Like a compromise!

Advice for entrepreneurs… Leif says he’s more a technical guy but he definitely did not want to work for someone else and being in your own business assures that. You must create content that is of value to other people. For him, it worked with his documentation projects such as the O’Reilly book and he’s now a successful Asterisk consultant and author.

Websites he uses most? and Twitter! Also Asterisk IRC channel.

Who inspires Leif Madsen? James Shaw, his friend since age 17 when Leif took Jim’s place working on at a computer store. Second one is Jim Van Meggelen. Leif describes him as a guy who can make you laugh and enjoy life, not a workoholic, and a good example for public speaking.

What do people ask him most often about the O’Reilly book? When are you going to write a new version? And that’s tough because Asterisk is progressing fast with changes by the second.

Leif will be at Astricon Oct 13-15, 2009 in Glendale. He will be speaking 10 AM on Oct. 14, 2009. He usually attends IT360 in Toronto every year. You can learn from him, contact him, do business with him at

You can listen to other podcast interviews on DIDX podcasts at

* After polling 11 people how I should define Leif, 10 said, they voted rockstar.”

Written by Leif Madsen

2009/07/30 at 5:11 pm