Support A2Billing :

provided by Star2Billing S.L.

Support A2Billing :
It is currently Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:04 am
Voice Broadcast System


All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Not a success story (yet)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:05 am
Posts: 94
Location: Canada
Let me start of by saying
"A2billing is great software. It has lot's of potential
and is continuously improved".

I really do not want to offend anyone with this post
and appreciate all the work that goes into a2billing.
Eventually we'll figure out how most features work and
we'll be able to use the s/w at that time.

HOWEVER, the lack of documentation is disgraceful.
I don't understand how a new version can be published without
providing the absolute minimum of documentation.

New features are not explained, there is no list of changes from
one version to the next and I can't even find the change log
that documents changes from one version to another?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Not a success story (yet)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:49 pm
Posts: 954
Location: Barcelona
We are trying to put a lot of efforts on building this software and make it strong and stable,
lack of documentation is a true fact as for a beginner user there is plenty to understand before
even trying to use A2Billing.

Nevertheless I believe we provide every information you might need to install A2Billing :
http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... on%20Guide
http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... lation-deb

Then you have the User Manual of 1.3 that is still a very good source of information to understand 1.4 :
http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... r%20Manual
http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... er%20Guide

We still have a ticket open for documentation on 1.4, as we are working on this, we also hope that we will get some contributions from the community (you also) : http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... ticket/506
an opensource project is not just taking from it but it's also contribution and helping in order to make it better.

There is a timeline of all the changes we do :
http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... ate=Update
You can see on daily base everything we commit.

Last but not the least, almost each pages of A2Billing admin UI target to a page on the wiki, here a list of the link,
not all of them are completed :
http://www.asterisk2billing.org/cgi-bin ... -Admin-GUI

Second, I don't think it s a decent attitude to use the "success stories" section to complain about a2billing,
you have few good section in the forum for this, there is no need to catch more attention this way.


Your post will be moved to an other section.

Thanks,
/Areski


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Not a success story (yet)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:05 am
Posts: 94
Location: Canada
Sorry for posting in the wrong section but you are right. I wanted to attract attention (and I did). A couple of comments to your reply to my post.

1. Yes. A2billing installation instructions are good from one version to another. Nothing to complain here.

2. The 1.3 manual is a good start but version 1.4 is different enough to require its own manual.

3. I can't contribute to the manual until I understand the software and I can't learn the software without manual. So much for that. However, I have instructed our programmer to post bug reports and fixes to the board e.g. the mass e-mailer does not work in version 1.4.2 bc the "send mail" line is commented out.

4. You should have an introductory post in the forum pointing to all the resources so new users don't have to ask for the information

5. The wiki online documentation would be great if it was complete like in version 1.34. However most if the time it's a blank page. I would suggest to copy the 1.34 wiki to 1.4.x and then ask for updates (like wikipedia) so that contributors don't have to start from scratch when half the documentation already exists but was never transferred to version 1.4x

6. I think there was a need to catch your attention since the whole community will benefit from the changes. However, I did not mean to offend so I apologize if I did.

7. We are now 14 years in the LD biz and worked with a programmer all that time. One thing we always did was to post an small explanation of every code change in the change log so that anyone reading the changes would understand the new feature and know how to implement it. It helps a lot if the person making the code change explains in his own words why he did it, what he wants to accomplish and how it works.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Not a success story (yet)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:56 pm
Posts: 4065
Hi

In respect of your comment :-

Quote:
5. The wiki online documentation would be great if it was complete like in version 1.3.4. However most if the time it's a blank page. I would suggest to copy the 1.34 wiki to 1.4.x and then ask for updates (like wikipedia) so that contributors don't have to start from scratch when half the documentation already exists but was never transferred to version 1.4x


We would love to find the time to complete this, but please bear in mind that we also hold down full time jobs as well, so we can eat, you will note that the donations are appreciated, but only just cover the hosting, and the commercial consultancy we do has not grown to a level where we can work full time on A2Billing, so some assistance in documentation, would be helpful, and if you or anyone can contribute to even just one section, that will help.

I feel that dumping the 1.3.4 information in there will make us a bit lazy about updating, it would preferable to rewrite with reference to 1.3.4. I wrote much of the 1.3.4 information, and I seem to remember that it took a solid week of writing and research, and I suspect that writing up all the new features of 1.4 is going to take at least as long, if not longer.

Joe


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Not a success story (yet)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:05 am
Posts: 94
Location: Canada
I appreciate your feedback but I still think it's easier to update existing documentation than to start from the beginning. Speaking for myself, I would not be able to write the entire documentation for any given section but it would be very easy to correct or fill in the blanks (so to speak) if I click on "online documentation" and find only partial or incomplete info rather than a blank page. I wouldn't even know where to begin if the page is blank but if it's just a matter of updating the existing info I would eventually be able to contribute. The fact that you alone wrote most of the 1.34 documentation seems to validate my point that most people can't do it if they have to start from scratch.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Not a success story (yet)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:49 pm
Posts: 58
I have to say that the documentation does need a lot of work. I am still finding fields on screens that i have no idea what they do or what a valid value for it is. A great example is commission. is it meant to be a percentage as in a number between 0.00 and 1.00 or is it meant to be between 0 to 100?

I started with a2billing recently and started with asterisk at the same time. I have used voip in the past and played around with online pabx but this was my first time setting it up etc. Turned out with all the distro's out there asterisk was easy as pie and a few days to learn the basics. When i got to a2billing it felt like hitting a brick wall. There are install guides very where and scripts but i don't think any of them fully work. Even once you get it installed it is not really linked into asterisk so you can use it. you still need to make changes to your asterisk config, trunks and a few other things. I found this very confusing and hard to get this information. To get my a2billing working and callbacks sort of working took me about 1-2 weeks. On the up side i know my way around a2billing a lot better now and solve the issues i still hit a lot faster.

Now i know every install is different and everyone has different setups but i would strongly recommend the following
1. working install script for 2-4 of the major asterisk distros and set the a2billing up in a standard folder and config. Use a config that allows it to be easily updated with another script.
2. have another script the user could run or a page that is really a step by step guide to actually been able to make test calls through a2billing, get asked for a pin and maybe connect to a dummy number or something.
3. more doco is aways good but it is the getting started stuff that is really needed.

I know some people with set a2billign up differently etc but if you do something like above you can always say "if you are using the standard setup" and give noobs directions.

That was just my experience. I love a2billing and I am working on making it fit my needs. i am not knocking the way things are now just some things that i thought could really help the people out who want to use this software.

on a side note about donations
why not offer a bounty like system. 50/50 split between developer that does the work and donation. That could encourage people to document and fix things as well as cover your server costs.

Also it would be great is star2billing pre made themes, designs, other integration options and voices for a2billing or some sort of template designs where you could tell them what you wanted added or removed from screens etc and you could get it for a fixed price if it is standard stuff or more if it is non standard. star2billing would also keep the standard templates they offer upto date with the latest source. I know i would be interested in something like that.

Chris


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Predictive Dialer


All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group