Developers Make a Good Call With Fedora Talk
While the rest of the world is knee-deep in webinars, Skype-based teleconferences, and other "Web 2.0"-ish forms of real time communication, most of the Linux community still relies on IRC, wikis, and opt-in email lists to get things done. At FUDCon last month, the Fedora community announced a new way of helping members and developers communicate with each other: Fedora Talk
Fedora Talk is a new telephony system based on the free voice VoIP project Asterisk. Using any standard VoIP hardware or software, Fedora contributors can sign into the system and use it to make or receive calls to other Fedora contributors anywhere in the world.
According to the Fedora Team, "Fedora contributors can set up ad hoc conferences, further deepening social connections and creating a more efficient method for communication when working on certain projects. In the future, we hope to add web conference capabilites for anyone with VoIP access. There are other possibilities to explore with Fedora Talk as well. What if, in the future, a Fedora volunteer could claim an hour of time to run a VoIP phone and answer user or contributor questions?"
So why not just use Skype to facilitate communication among contributors? Well, for one thing, Skype software doesn't always work on Linux systems. Additionally, some Linux users don't want to use any applications with a closed source development model, and instead prefer open apps like Ekiga.
There was plenty of support outside the community that helped make Fedora Talk a reality. Digium, the company behind Asterisk, provided several SIP handsets to engineers and developers within the community. The team's hosting and bandwith provider Server Beach and phone service provider Arrival Telecom each donated several dial-in numbers for contributors without the necessary VoIP equipment.