[App_rpt-users] ASL on Asterisk LTS

Stacy kg7qin at arrl.net
Sun Feb 10 08:09:46 EST 2019

On 2/8/19 7:11 PM, Benjamin Naber wrote:

For some reason your message here, while probably not meant to do so,
has struck a nerve with me (I normally don't reply to this list, and
just sit back and watch the interactions here).  So I will say to you
and whoever else who is of the same opinion as you -- that things are
fine as they stand -- they most certainly are not fine.  While things
more or less "work", you have given one reason below why they are not
fine -- IPv6.

I'm not here to pick a fight, but I do feel compelled to answer when I
see a post like this.

Progress is only made when someone takes an idea and runs with it.  I
for one welcome people in the community asking about stuff such as this
(or even better, pitching in and contributing in their own way).  I
honestly do not know what to make of your reply here, except for maybe a
friendly attempt at trying to steer or mentor Marcos based on his question?

My reply here should not be taken as an attack on you, so please do not
take it as so.

> Marco,
> There are currently a number of reasons we are still using Asterisk
> 1.4.x
> The Asterisk module that makes ASL possible is app_rpt. Dixion and his
> contemporaries made chan_usbradio and chan_simpleusb which were written
> for Asterisk 1.4 and 1.44. (maybe others??) These chan 'drivers' are
> the HMI (human-machine-interface) to connect software to hardware for
> analog signal handling/processing.
Human Interface Device (HID) class not HMI.  The HID class is part of
the USB specification and specifies a device class for Human Interface
Devices (or HMIs) such as keyboards, touch screens, etc.
> When all was working to the way Dixon wanted, he had absolutely no
> reason to change this as he thought it was perfect. Him and I got into
> many discussions about this, and we see now how it went..
> The module app_rpt was discontinued in distribution by Digium, owner of
> Asterisk, release is version 11... I think, maybe it was 1.8. I need to
> find the source to verify that. Either way, Digium quit supporting and
> shipping app_rpt with their asterisk source code some years ago. 
> Jim Dixion and the creator of Asterisk and Mark Spencer, created
> app_rpt for connecting radios to Mark's adolescent-stage creation, for
> use of radios with a VoIP exchange system - making it RoIP.
Don't forget about Steve RoDgers. :)
> No one has stepped up to the plate to "patch/fork/whatever" app_rpt to
> the later versions of Asterisk.
I will just leave this right here for now.

This was done back in October/November 2015.

It is Alpha level code at best right now.  The core app_rpt functions, I
cannot guarantee that anything else does.

The reason that nobody has done it is both that it is a major
undertaking, and that you rarely find more than one or two people crazy
enough to take it on.  The reason for it being a major undertaking is
that, the higher you get in Asterisk versions, the more significant the
changes are from 1.4.23pre.

> This kinda needs to happen as the world makes a very slow, but
> inevitable transition to IPv6. Which the current version of Asterisk we
> are using does not support. (Sure there are work-arounds, but those are
> getting complicated to make work *reliably*).
True, IPv6 support is lacking from 1.4.23pre.  In addition to a change
in the client code, there would also need to be an update of the
infrastructure that supports it.
> In the mean time, bleeding edge technology and software are filled with
> new engineering problems - not stable.
I will disagree with you on this.  The LTS versions, while significantly
newer (and supported) code bases than the 1.4.23pre we are using, are
not "bleeding edge technology".  They are the stable tracks of Asterisk
that aren't supposed to introduce new features.  They also provide
security and stability fixes while they are supported until the next
version is stable enough to move to the LTS track.  The newer versions
of Asterisk have their own quirks and bugs, but are just as if not more
stable than our 1.4.23pre code base.
> The version we are using is stable, and secure - the weak link is the
> un-educated user. (think: new and/or bad car driver)

Stable and secure?  Not to nit pick here, but the 1.4 code base is over
10 years old.  There are bugs and other "features" that have been
fixed/patched in the later supported versions that still exist in what
we use.  A few were back ported...

I also disagree on your analogy, but I'm not here to start a flame war
or mailing list argument, as I had stated above.

> Also consider this- most of us who have cars,trucks, boats are using a
> technology well over 100 years old. The outside of the magical machine
> has changed some, but in the end the fundamental operation of
> controlled explosions turned into mechanical energy i.g, shaft power,
> is the same.
> If you have an electric car, the induction motor is the same principal
> design that Tesla made.
The basic principles are the same, however the implementation of said
principles can be improved upon and made more efficient as technology
progresses.   The same can be said with regards to the underlying
technology of both Asterisk and app_rpt.
> So, here we stand. Who gonna do it? If someone is complaining about it,
> but not willing to actually do something about it, that someone should
> be quiet. 

To answer your question: "Who gonna do it?"  I will and already have to
some extent.  I've done something about it with the Github repo above, a
push forward from the technological deficit we are currently in.

> Take it as you see it. Everyone is responsible for how they tune their
> own receiver.

So, let me turn your question back around at you. 

What are you going to to? 

Contributions are always welcome to AllStarLink. 

The Wiki could use some articles written for it (wiki.allstarlink.org). 

Do you know how to code in C?  If so, hit up the list server and
subscribe to the -dev mailing list. 

The helpdesk team could always use a hand from someone who is
experienced with assisting users with problems.  Send an email to
helpdesk at allstarlink.org asking how you can help out.


Based on your message here, you seem to have a strong opinion and are
passionate about this stuff. 

I strongly encourage you to volunteer and share your experience with the
community.  Be it ham radio, using AllStarLink, or just technology in
general.  The more people who volunteer, the stronger we are. 

If you are interested, then please send an email to
helpdesk at allstarlink.org stating what you can do and asking where you
can help.




> Benjamin, KB9LFZ

Disclaimer:  I'm a member of the AllStarLink admin team, one of the
group of volunteers who runs/maintains the infrastructure behind this
beast called AllStarLink.  I also "own" (own as in run/moderate) the
ASL-Dev mailing list and am responsible for the AllStarLink github repo
update that happened recently, among other things.  Unless I
specifically state so, my opinions are entirely my own.

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