Astricon 2008, Hope to See You There!

Astricon 2008 is coming up in a couple of months. I have been to every Astricon in the United States and I always have an amazing time. I spend so much time deep in the trenches of the code that it is really nice to get out and meet people that make good use of Asterisk.

I am currently scheduled to give 2 talks this year. One of them is a “lightning talk”, where I will spend 10 to 15 minutes giving a talk titled “Deadlocks explained for the masses”. I plan to explain some multi-threaded programming concepts and the causes of deadlocks in a way that all attendees can understand.

My second talk is a joint talk with Kevin Fleming, called “The Asterisk Update – The Present, The Future”. Kevin and I will be discussing the current state of Asterisk development, as well as some of our plans for the future direction of the project.

I strongly encourage you to consider attending Astricon, and if you do, come say hello!

Astricon 2008, I'm speaking!

Announcing AstriDevCon 2008!

On September 26-28 in Glendale, Arizona, a group of Asterisk developers will be getting together for three days of hacking, coding, testing, designing and otherwise beating on the Asterisk code base. The event will be hosted at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa immediately following AstriCon 2008 and will be low-key and open only to serious developers and contributors. We are expecting to keep the attendance to 50 people or less, including many members of the Digium Asterisk development team (currently around 15 people).

If you wish to participate, please contact Kevin P. Fleming so he can make arrangements with you. We will need to have the final list of attendees in place by August 15th or so, so that hotel accommodations can be confirmed. You can find accommodation and travel information on the AstriCon website at

Each attendee will be responsible for their own travel, meals and lodging costs; the conference sessions will only have a beverage bar and light snacks. There will be free wireless Internet access in the meeting room and in the guest rooms at the Renaissance.

This year we plan to focus our efforts on media stream handling and codec (format) negotiations; at the previous two DevCons we have talked about these topics but not made any significant progress, and it’s time to get the work done to improve Asterisk so it can do a better job handling complex media streams and changing codec requirements.

If you are interested in attending, send an email application to including your name, your involvement with Asterisk (or related projects), and who is sponsoring your attendance (if any company or person is doing so). We will accept applications until August 15th, and then make the decisions about who we can accept based on their level of contribution and the space available at the event.

This Post Brought to You by Dr. Pepper

Working at Digium is so random sometimes. This morning, an entire pallet of Dr. Pepper arrived for Kevin P. Fleming, my boss, and the Director of Software Technologies. This pallet held 42 cases of 24 20 oz. bottles each. That’s 1008 20 oz. bottles of Dr. Pepper. Furthermore, this arrived with no information on who sent it!

Someone must be very happy with Kevin right now. He made a comment that someone must have really liked his work on modular echo cancelers and other fixes and improvements preparing for the first release of DAHDI. 🙂

Dr. Pepper on the receiving dock, after we had already taken the first 5 cases off of it:

Moving it upstairs to be in the software engineering area …

The full stack in its final resting place, for now. This stack is two cases deep. Also, there is a row of 6 more cases that can’t be seen in this picture.

I sure hope Kevin is willing to share a couple of bottles with the rest of the team!

Speeding up Asterisk with the Hoard Memory Allocator

A little over a year I ago, I made a post to the Asterisk-dev mailing list looking for someone to do some load testing with the Hoard Memory Allocator.

Chris Tooley just recently gave it a test run and saw a boost of about 10% in the number of call setups per second that his machine could handle.

I would encourage others to give this a try when load testing your system. There is virtually no setup other than installing hoard. There are some Asterisk functionality that I feel would see much greater performance improvements than have been demonstrated so far.