3 Oct 2002 Qbert   » (Journeyer)

One of the advantages of free software is that, if you don't get around to doing a project, someone else may do it for you. It turns out this is the case with Vocal. At OSCON this year, I ran into a co-worker, who pointed out the just-released O'Reilly Vocal Book! I was pretty astounded. As Vovida's VP of Engineering put it, "We said we were going to do a lot of things that made people go, 'Yeah, right.' One of them was publishing an O'Reilly book. And now we've done it!"--like so many other outrageous things, like making a totally free H.323, MGCP, and SIP voice over IP system. Vovida was a truly remarkable company. I place it with Red Hat and Cygnus as a truly successful free software business.

A couple of weeks later I was invited to a book-signing party at Cisco. We all caught up and signed each other's copies of the book. (We all appear in the credits--neato. I never thought I'd get my name in an O'Reilly book without actually writing it.)

Well, I think this closes my involvement with Vocal. After I left Cisco, it became yet another thing I planned to do but never got around to. I guess my open-source work ethic needs some work. Still, I'm delighted to see someone else has done up the needed documentation, much better than I could have done. This kind of applied laziness is never guaranteed to work, but it's awfully nice when it does.

By the way, I highly recommend the book. It has a really smart explicit division of material targeted at different audiences: hobbyist, sysadmin (i.e. at an ISP), and developer. Buy it somewhere other than Amazon today. ;)

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