State of the Union

Jo-Philipp Wich jo at
Mon Feb 27 12:00:38 EST 2017

Hello Imre,

> As you know, we've had multiple discussions and meetings on merging
> and continuing the work together. OpenWrt is around for a long time
> now and grown way bigger than we've ever imagined it with Mike and
> Gerry in 2003. We've all learned a lot during these years but over a
> decade was also long enough to create internal politics and
> fractions. I really hope soon we won't speak about "sides" anymore,
> but for now, let me use that word due to the lack of a better one.

I sincerely hope so too, having opposing sides just incurs needless
friction among the community members.

> I believe the fork threw new light upon some of the mistakes we've
> been doing - and the fact we all had to take a deep breath and
> rethink some of the habits and do away with them.
> There have been numerous delays while we've tried to address both
> sides' requests and fears. I've also spoken to multiple people
> personally "from the other side" to have a better insight on what and
> why happened.
> I would like to let you know that Mike is fine transferring the
> domain name to SPI. It's up to him to decide if he subsequent
> meetingwants to do the legal part of it - if not, I'll do. Having
> more people with root access to the OpenWrt infrastructure was also
> requested, Florian has root for quite some time now - I hope he was
> able to find his way around already ;)

That is great news!

> I believe there are topics we developers have to agree on and there
> are topics we should ask the community about. As you might remember,
> Hauke sent out the meeting notes on all past meetings. To be
> completely open, they went out as-is, which might have been confusing
> for some people. On the OpenWrt Summit we've said we all want to
> merge and on the next meeting we've agreed to stick to the OpenWrt
> name and sail under the same flag.

I'd like to point out here that this does not reflect the opinion of all
LEDE participants. I'll personally support whatever majority decision
is made (and more importantly, implemented) in the end but personally I
have zero interest in sticking to the OpenWrt name under all

> This decision isn't up for the grabs, and I believe we've made the
> right choice on this one. Our community also includes the industry,
> and their efforts, contributions and needs should be also taken care
> of.

I fail to see the connection between "the industry" and using the
OpenWrt name here, can you elaborate on that?

> Deciding on how the merged infrastructure will work or how will we 
> handle some work-flow questions are also something I would call an 
> "internal decision"

Deciding infrastructure details is certainly fine within a limited,
internal circle but establishing and enforcing work flows is a topic
which concerns a wider audience that should at least include frequent
contributors and downstream users.

> - but there are open questions where I strongly believe we are not
> the ones who call the shots. To name a few, I have doubts on how user
> friendly the LEDE forum engine is vs punbb (what we use for OpenWrt),
> and we should ask the community on which one should remain at the
> end.

Asking the community about their preferred forum choice is the right
thing to do. Wiki can be decided as well but since both OpenWrt and LEDE
use Dokuwiki there isn't really much to decide about the engine, it just
boils down to the question on where to shovel the content to.

> Choosing the wiki engine should be next topic and there are a few
> more where we should have a survey - most of our community never uses
> the mailing lists.

It should be no problem to setup a survey or poll on the OpenWrt and
LEDE forums, it is just a matter of educating people about possible
choices and presenting viable options.

> All in all, I hereby would like to ask for another (hopefully final) 
> meeting between the sides. I strongly believe it's time to really
> bury the hatchet and continue working for the greater good -
> together.

Before we schedule another meeting you should prepare a detailed agenda
first to allow us to concentrate on the actual decision making.

Some points that require agreements and resolutions are:

1) Website
  a) Keep separate pages or merge them?
  b) Who is taking care of hosting?
  c) Who is taking care of the domain?
  d) ...

2) Forum
  a) Discourse or punBB?
  b) What is speaking about having both?
  c) ...

3) Wiki
  a) Complete LEDE wiki with OpenWrt information?
  b) Complete OpenWrt wiki with LEDE information?
  c) Redirect one to the other or keep both? (Mind that LEDE uses its
     wiki as main web presence)

4) Who is doing the legal paperwork, SPI etc.
  a) Who is volunteering?
  b) What are the requirements?
  c) ...

5) Communication
  a) Preparing a joint statement?
  b) Who is moderating the remerge process?
  c) Who keeps track of the merge process?
  d) ...


I can not speak on behalf of other community members but here's a few
personal thoughts and questions:

 - Imho there is not much worth in keeping the OpenWrt source tree
   around. We can merge the outstanding changes to Chaos Calmer since
   the founding of LEDE into the Chaos Calmer branch on git.lede- (but we have to figure out how to deal with the
   rewritten history) and pick the few relevant changes from OpenWrt
   master into the LEDE master branch.

 - I am still unclear about what project I would be actually merging
   with. By now all former and active OpenWrt developers should have
   (or easily can get) push access to source.git but there has been
   very little contributions from the "OpenWrt side" in both the
   OpenWrt or LEDE repositories. Can we expect some actual effort from
   the "OpenWrt side" in the future or will things quickly fall back
   into a pattern where a few people having * mail
   addresses are claiming to represent the project while the actual
   development work and (non-industrial) community interaction is done
   by others?

 - For me the LEDE arrangement currently works well and so far I see
   nothing I would personally gain from re-merging with OpenWrt as a
   project or OpenWrt as defined by its infrastructure. Strictly
   speaking it would only incur work and, with no good plan for the
   merger in place, delays and confusion as well as tied up resources
   better spent in release engineering and bug fixing.


The only viable way I *personally* see is letting all LEDE and OpenWrt
developers participate in LEDE, redirect OpenWrt to LEDE and start
shaping the common project within the laid out rules to address the
majorities view on how things should work. Then we can start thinking
about renaming LEDE back to OpenWrt together.


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