Telephony...the "elephant graveyard" of the internet. I have found it. And IP Telephony is especially there. So many sites that are just left there to DIE. So many projects that sounded so promising, only to have their last update 2-to-5 YEARS AGO. Abandonware. Brokenware. No-ware. With projects that are still under "active" development, strangely their feature-set often fails to meet expectations, or is downright buggy. Sometimes I score big. Most of the time I feel like I'm hunting ghosts. Yet the trail does sometimes lead to great finds, and renews the spirit of my search. I find a draft standard, read a horror story, learn an ugly truth that only implementation and deployment could reveal. A random forum, a bad link, or worse a link to somewhere still valid yet no longer interested in that topic. For every 10 leads, maybe 2 produce positive outcomes. I could write down my findings, record what knowledge I've gleaned, post a blog...but to what end? Knowledge is to telephony what fire was to Prometheus: forever a curse of instant obsolescence; painful death without really dying. Don't believe me? Just cruise voip-info.org
for some of the more esoteric topics. So far, and in spite of its recent updates, I've found it to be the best graveyard of all!
But as bad as all that sounds, in my estimation it's no worse than the ancient, decrepit, beholden-now-only-unto-Google page of links and downloads for our deprecated NEC PBX. Hideous background? check. Gobs of text in tables (not DIVs, real HTML TABLES)? check. All that was missing was the stupid "Under Construction" GIFs and a few multi-color horizontal rules. There it was, left to its bit-rot on some forgotten server stashed inside a wall or up in the drop-ceiling of some old, moldy office. How long will it be there? We don't know. Knowing that the tech hasn't really changed much in all these years terrifies me. I scarfed all those files, downloaded every 50-to-500-page PDF and every "Runs on Windows 98, 2000, and XP" binary I could click on. So for now, their secrets are in my possession. I pity the fool who goes looking for them in the future, and pray that I will not be that fool.
Sometimes we get lucky. And then sometimes we find that the bones have already been picked clean by the carrion-eaters, bleached in the sun and now sport a sign that reads: "buy this corpse of a domain." More often the latter.
I never knew telephony could be so depressing.