[OpenWrt-Devel] Why OpenWrt sucks?

Kathy Giori kathy.giori at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 17:25:46 EDT 2015

On Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 1:19 PM, Charlie Smurthwaite
<charlie at atechmedia.com> wrote:
> On 09/03/15 20:02, valent.turkovic at gmail.com wrote:
>> Main issue is that wifi chip manufacturers don't offer open source
>> wifi drivers. If Atheros and Broadcom understood Open source as Intel
>> does then you would get absolutely top speed and reliability from
>> OpenWrt wifi drivers. You don't get top notch performance with OpenWrt
>> because Atheros and Broadcom are choosing not release quality open
>> source drivers.
> I think you'll get a lot of opposition to the concept that Atheros don't
> contribute and support this project and Linux in general.

I would agree. Have you all noticed that Kalle Valo (Qualcomm Atheros)
took over for John Linville as upstream Linux wireless drivers
maintainer? That is a big job, which is on top of the ath10k upstream
11ac Wi-Fi driver he maintains. And technical challenges are not the
only hurdles. If you peer inside a large company you'd see how tough
it is to promote open source development in general, due mostly to PHB

Despite such roadblocks, there are developers who care deeply about
proper upstream and open source development. And although certainly in
the minority at large companies, their talent is usually exceptional.
Arend Van Spriel is an example of dedication to the community despite
the lack of broader open source support from his company. He's a guy
we should cheer, not blame. It can be quite painful for upstream
developers to deal with engineering managers who "don't get" what they
do or why it is so important. I applaud the developers who have the
courage to stick with it. Trying to do upstreaming from outside of a
semiconductor company (without access to the inside scoop) is really
hard, which is why it is important to hang in there.

I also don't think poor performance can be tied only to Wi-Fi. System
performance "tuning" done to the core Linux networking stack,
including bridging and routing functions, can also make a big
difference. If only the tweaks used to tune commercial products were
applied upstream. :(

And finally, I have met several core OpenWrt developers and they rock.
Without much in terms of financial resources and even with a small
group, their sheer talent and enthusiasm has created an incredibly
successful embedded Linux distribution. It is the "go to" distro that
enables developers with the source code they need to develop further
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