What is JOpenPhone?
JOpenPhone is a client for voip protocols such as h323 and sip based on many others opensource projects from sourceforge like XTAPI JTapi Implementation , the The OpenH323 Project and Generic Jtapi (for the SIP implementation). In the early stage of the project we hope to make it work as an asterisk SIP client , and able to stablish connection with remote h323 parties (Microsoft NetMeeting for instance).
The language we have choosen for this project is the java (Tiger) platform 1.5.0 for many reasons. The multiplatform feature which allows us to compile once, and run on many platforms, and the strong object oriented paradigm of the language are the most important reasons of why we picked this platform.
Why Open Source?
I really wanted to write you folks about why we decide to make this project using the open source model, but i read the explanation that RedHat gave about why they use opensource, so please permit me to quote their reasons for develope using an opensource lincense ,
"All software is written with source code. With open source software, the code is protected by a special license that ensures everyone has access to that code. That means no one company can fully own it. Freedom means choice. Choice means power.
That's why we believe open source is inevitable. It returns control to the customer. You can see the code, change it, learn from it. Bugs are more quickly found and fixed. And when customers don't like how one vendor is serving them, they can choose another without overhauling their infrastructure. No more technology lock-in. No more monopolies.
And we believe open source simply creates better software. It multiplies one company's development capacity many times over. Everyone collaborates, the best software wins. Not just within one company, but among an Internet-connected, worldwide community. It's no coincidence that the rise of open source closely followed the rise of the Internet. The perfect breeding ground for collaboration, the Internet moves ideas and code around the world in an instant.
As a result, the open source model often builds higher quality, more secure, more easily integrated software. And it does it at a vastly accelerated pace and often at a lower cost.
The open source model is built on the premise that companies like Red Hat must consistently serve customers through extraordinary value, performance, and ease of integration and management. Or they can choose another vendor.
In the proprietary model, development occurs within one company. Programmers write code, hide it behind binaries, charge customers to use the software--then charge them more to fix it when it breaks. No one ever has to know how bad the software really is.
The problem worsens when you become tied to a company's architecture, protocols, and file formats. Bruce Perens calls this the addiction model of software procurement Any model that puts customers at such a fundamental disadvantage is conceptually broken.
Open source is not nameless, faceless, and it's not charity. Nor is it solely a community effort. What you see today is a technology revolution driven ever forward by market demand.
The concept behind open source is not new. For centuries, universities and research communities have shared their work. Monks copied books by hand. Scientists publish new discoveries in journals. Mathematical formulas are distributed, improved, redistributed.
Imagine if all of this past knowledge was kept hidden or its use was restricted to only those who are willing to pay for it. Yet this is the mentality behind the proprietary software model. In the same way shared knowledge propels the whole of society forward, open technology development can drive innovation for an entire industry. "
Why JOpenPhone uses the GNU/GPL license?
There are many opensource lincenses that we could used for this project, but we found that the General Pulic Lincense from GNU Free Software Foundation was the most convenient for this software because what we are trying to do is to create the freedom of choice for users who want to comunicate to voip servers or h323 servers from non supported operating systems. Nowadays we can find several clients for h323 , and voip User Agents , but they only release the binaries for specific platforms and users are not allowed to modify to theri convenience or even look at what is the program really doing.
And thats what the GPL is about, to give to the users four basic freedoms which prevent companies to tie them to a specific product. Those 4 freedom are listed below:
About the main differences about OpenSource and Free Software i'm gonna quote the explanation gived by Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation.
"The relationship between the Free Software movement and the Open Source movement is that we disagree on the basic principles, but agree more or less on the practical recommendations. So we can and do work together on many specific projects. We don't think of the Open Source movement as an enemy. The enemy is proprietary software .
We are not against the Open Source movement, but we don't want to be lumped in with them. We acknowledge that they have contributed to our community, but we created this community, and we want people to know this. We want people to associate our achievements with our values and our philosophy, not with theirs. We want to be heard, not obscured behind a group with different views. To prevent people from thinking we are part of them, we take pains to avoid using the word ``open'' to describe free software, or its contrary, ``closed'', in talking about non-free software. "