GNU Project Releases Telephony Platform

GNU Bayonne 1.0 is a freely available software platform for developing and deploying telephony applications such as voice-response systems.

The GNU Project on Wednesday released the first stable version of a freely available software platform for developing and deploying telephony applications such as voice-response systems.

Two years in the making, GNU Bayonne Version 1.0 is available under a GNU General Public License for small businesses, large enterprises and commercial carriers wanting an alternative method for creating telephony services.

The advantage of GNU Bayonne 1.0 for users is that they have access to the full source code of the software, allowing them to hire whomever they want to work on their phone systems rather than being beholden to a specific vendor, said Bradley Kuhn, executive director of the Free Software Foundation, in Boston, which sponsors the GNU Project.

"[This release] shows that real, commercial-quality applications for telephony can be designed and implemented by people who value freedom," Kuhn wrote in an e-mail interview. "Most telephony platforms hold their users in chains—requiring them to buy in and commit permanently to one vendor."

GNU Bayonne 1.0 is part of the GNU Enterprise, an effort to develop a host of free enterprise-level software programs. GNU Bayonne runs on popular distributions of GNU/Linux and FreeBSD.

Now that its in full release, GNU Bayonne is likely to attract other developers who will post free applications for use with it, Kuhn said. Such likely applications include voice messaging, auto attendant, integrated messaging and call forwarding.

The Free Software Foundation and its GNU Project helped provide technical, infrastructure and organizational support for GNU Bayonne. The Open Source Telecom Corp. provided commercial sponsorship for the development.

The source code is available for download at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bayonne/.