2006 Edition Free and Open Source Software Developer's European Meeting


2006-01-31 - Jan Janak


An interview conducted by Lionel Dricot (aka "ploum")
FOSDEM - Please present yourself.

Jan Janak - My name is Jan Janak, I work as chief software architect in iptelorg/GmbH (now part of Tekelec). I am one of SER core developers, trying to deliver free and flexible SIP server implementation to the community.

FOSDEM - What is "different" with SER? What are the competitors on this "market" and why must we choose SER?

Jan Janak - SER is fast, very flexible, and strictly RFC conformant. Many SIP phone vendors are using SER as reference implementation for testing and development, this helps us to keep it interoperable. Some of the largest existing SIP setups have been running SER. If you want to make sure that your servers are standard compliant and flexible enough to accomodate wide variety of scenarios then you should give SER a try.

Our competitors are Asterisk, partysip, and sipxpbx.

FOSDEM - What, in SER, makes you very proud of it?

Jan Janak - The level of acceptance SER managed to get in traditionally closed source world. Many existing telecom companies have decided to give free software try because of SER. And typically they are very satisfied with free software based solution. This makes me really proud.

FOSDEM - What, in SER, ashamed you the most?

Jan Janak - Although we have debianized all our software and maintain our own APT repository with VoIP related software, we haven't managed to get SER in the official Debian repository (even after approaching several debian developers directly). That is a pity, because almost all SER developers are Debian fans and maintaining our debian packages separately costs us additional resources that could have been spent on development.

FOSDEM - How do you see the future of SER and your own future in the OpenSource world?

Jan Janak - When I got my first experience with open source software back in my university days, I was amazed that I could get access to all the software for free, study it and use it in my own projects. This opened a whole new world to me.

A similar thing seems to be happening now in the (traditionally closed) telecom area. We now have widely available network infrastructure based on open protocols (internet), we have open standards for internet telephony (SIP/RTP), and I am happy that I have the pleasure to work on the last remaining piece, free software for internet telephony.

My hope is that, one day, every mobile phone will be based on open standards with free software behind it, without people even knowing about it. I will be more than happy if SER helps us to get there, although it is just a drop in the ocean.

FOSDEM - What will you talk about at FOSDEM this year (more precisely than just "it will be about SER")?

Jan Janak - The talk will be about scalable SER based setups. How to build a SIP server that can be easily extended when needed. We have had a lot of development going on in that direction recently.

FOSDEM - What do you expect from FOSDEM and what makes you happy (if any) to come here in Belgium?

Jan Janak - I am really looking forward to hearing other talks, especially the one by Ian Pratt about the Xen Project. I am a big fan of Xen.

FOSDEM - Thanks you for your answers, for coming to FOSDEM and for your involvement in Free Software.

Jan Janak - Thank you. I am looking forward to seeing you in Brussels.


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