[h323plus] [Opalvoip-devel] [Openh323-devel] opalvoip vs h323plus

Craig Southeren craigs at postincrement.com
Sat Nov 3 06:17:45 EDT 2007

Simon Horne wrote:

> Robert
> I hate to be blunt but I would like to point out a few facts.
> The decision to fork Opal to OpalVoIP was purely yours and craigs. Nobody
> forced you to make the fork and you guys did it very much with your eyes
> wide open. 

You are correct that the decision was mine and Robert's. It was not a 
trivial decision - it's something that I have agonised over personally 
for many years - but I felt the time had come that it had to happen.

Everyone has been very supportive about the shift, and I hope you agree 
that it was the right thing to do.

 > You knew very well what new work I was doing in openH323 as well
> as the numerous projects such as Asterisk,Yate,GnuGk, PacPhone etc rely on
> OpenH323 for their H.323 support and that support would be disrupted if not
> lost with the abrupt move to OpalVoIP. There was a flurry of "concerned"
> private emails on the topic and was actively discussed on the days leading
> up to your public announcement.
> The decision to start h323plus was made in part in response to your decision
> and to ensure continuation of support for these "orphaned" projects and also
> to ensure the new work I was doing in OpenH323 saw the light of day. It
> became impossible to do in openh323, although I had made several public
> gestures to taking over the OpenH323 project, I never received any response
> from anybody on the topic so I was forced to take the action I did.

You've always had the public support of myself and Robert for your work 
on OpenH323. In fact, if it was not for your support then the decision 
to move Opal to a new site would have been much harder for the very 
reasons you describe.

> Facts remain there has been little new H.323 work in Opal aside from the
> video plugin work with majority of that focus been on the SIP side which is
> completely understandable as this has been your prime focus. For instance,
> the new H.264 and MPEG4 codecs in the Opal repository didn't even have H.323
> support. (Well not completely true, I'm testing H.264 code and will get to
> the MPEG4 shortly)

Much of the work in OPAL has been in the shared code-base, so it is 
common to both H.323 and SIP. For example, Hannes has done some amazing 
work on allowing multiple video streams in a single call, which he has 
running on H.323. We're looking forward to getting this code into the 
mainstream release.

> To be honest, the H.323 support in Opal is currently at the level of about
> openH323 v1.18 meanwhile over the last 12 months I have been diligently
> adding H.230,H.239,H.249,H.341,H.350,H.460.x etc to the openH323 plugins
> branch (abit with Roberts paid (from somebody) support for the video plugins
> :) ) with the an aim to have that work ported to Opal when you guys were
> ready, nobody has EVER contacted me on doing this to date (aside from
> Hannes) and the offer is still there and I certainly welcome you to do so.

 From my point of view, the main reason why we never got around to doing 
this was that I always sort of considered the new H.450.x etc code as 
still in development, because it was never moved to CVS head.

But, if you are saying it is all ready to go, then let's get moving!!

> Nothing at all changes that. As you are aware I still commit changes to
> ptlib and the opal plugins in OpalVoIP SVN and you are very much welcomed to
> take any of the new H323plus work and add it to OpalVoIP.

It's something we've always intended to do. This was one of driving 
forces behind moving Opal to a new site.

> I don't understand, Although the desire to make a smaller ASN.1 footprint is
> a completely fantastic idea but why do you want to effectively exclude such
> a large number of projects which currently rely on OpenH323 (now h323plus)
> or basically force these projects to recode to Opal. In many respects there
> is no compelling business case (or benefit) for these projects to move to
> Opal but more importantly, politics may be the deciding factor as unlike
> openH323, Opal may be seen as a competitor especially on the SIP side and
> with the current demand for H.323 very low they might just abandon any new
> H.323 work altogether. This is my greatest fear.

We have not done the ASN.1 changes in Opal or OpenH323 to date for the 
very reason that it would cause problems for these existing projects. 
I'd really like to start a discussion on how we can get the advantages 
of the new ASN while minimising the impact for developers.

H.323 is still active developed within OPAL and is a crucial part of the 
project. I do not consider it any way secondary or subvservient to the 
SIP component.

Whilst we are on this subject: if a project was to convert to OPAL and 
the new ASN would it be better to do it in one big step, or two smaller 

> The purpose of h323plus is to continue on from your (and craig's) fantastic
> work on OpenH323 and the unique neutral place OpenH323 had in the
> marketplace and develop it further with app sharing, conference controls
> etc,(hence the + in h323plus) and make that available to the widest audience
> possible, continuing the history of being the one really good advanced open
> source H.323 stack which everyone has relied on for so many years.

I completely understand your decision to create h323plus, and I agree 
that it is the best way to continue to support projects that rely on 

It is my fervent wish to provide a migration path for those projects to 
move to OPAL so that they can benefit from the architectural 
improvements in OPAL, as well as providing the ability to include other 
protocols such as SIP, if they so wish.

I'd also like to avoid splitting the effort of the maintainers such 
yourself and us because, as you understand, it is a *lot* of effort and 
such duplication could be wasteful.


  Craig Southeren          Post Increment – VoIP Consulting and Software
  craigs at postincrement.com.au                   www.postincrement.com.au

  Phone:  +61 243654666      ICQ: #86852844
  Fax:    +61 243656905      MSN: craig_southeren at hotmail.com
  Mobile: +61 417231046      Jabber: craigs at jabber.org

  "Science is the poetry of reality." Richard Dawkins

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