[OpenWrt-Devel] Request for Feedback - prplwrt Software Support Program - initial draft

Kathy Giori kathy.giori at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 04:17:51 EST 2016

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 1:23 AM, xxiao8 <xxiao8 at fosiao.com> wrote:
> I would expect prpl had lots of discussion with Openwrt core developers
> already before this. It appears that did not happen.

At the OpenWrt Summit held in conjunction with ELCE last October, the
concept of prpl helping fund some development, documentation, and
other tasks deemed useful to the community was discussed. In the past
couple days, Art Swift (prpl Pres) had the opportunity to obtain
high-level feedback from a few carriers and operators who have been
participating in the Home Gateway Initiative (HGI). Some use OpenWrt
and want to see it enhanced, others have never used it and seem wary.

> Intel funded the core developers for Yocto(x86), Linaro gets money from
> ARM(arm), now it seems prpl is trying to better some ecosystem for mips via
> Openwrt.

prpl isn't just MIPS focused, even though Imagination initiated the
foundation. The activity around OpenWrt has been architecture

> IMHO, prpl either does something major(full and open community involvement,
> much more financial sponsorship,etc), or sponsor a few sub-projects
> initially to earn a name for itself before anything major.

prpl doesn't have deep pockets. But beginning to fund some of the
"carrier grade features" described in my previous e-mail may attract
more members from HGI (which is closing), which would help add to the
funding budget available. As we begin this process, it will be
interesting to see what sorts of projects are proposed by or become
the favorites among the community. Good ideas can come from anyone.

A side benefit of attracting product vendors and service providers to
deploy and manage hardware running OpenWrt, is that it may also cause
them to request that silicon vendors do better at kernel upstreaming
and OpenWrt contributions. One can hope. ;)

> Openwrt in the IoT days in my opinion should be put under Linux Foundation.

I like the idea of an OpenWrt Foundation under the Linux Foundation
too. prpl Foundation != OpenWrt Foundation. We simply initiated a PEG
inside prpl to facilitate better communication and collaboration
between industry and community. (Since an OpenWrt Foundation did not

Tactically, we want feedback on the funding idea. If there is a
resounding thumbs down, no worries, it won't happen. But if some of
you like the idea, then we need two things:
* feedback on the proposal process
* a few volunteers to join the evaluation committee

You are all welcome to provide feedback publicly or privately, or join
a discussion call (see below).

> On 03/09/2016 03:11 PM, openwrt-devel-request at lists.openwrt.org wrote:
>> On 2016-03-09 17:46, Kathy Giori wrote:
>> I do agree that keeping things neutral and not skewing a project towards
>> one particular vendor is important. However, there's one critical aspect
>> that in my opinion is still very dysfunctional with prpl trying to act
>> as a middle man here: communication.

Agree, communication is critical. Ideas for improvement most welcome.
Maybe need more opportunities for face-to-face discussions. But key
folks for those discussions are developers from industry, and they are
spread out all over the place and may not have an easy time being
approved for travel. Maybe we can go back to doing some video (google
hangout) calls, each with a specific topic to be discussed. This
funding idea can be topic #1.

>> Some of us (especially John) have repeatedly attempted to get some
>> information on what the bigger OpenWrt users among the corporate prpl
>> members actually need. What are their issues with OpenWrt, what are
>> their requirements for useful features, etc. Maybe some information on
>> how they're actually using OpenWrt. In some ways that can be even more
>> important than having a neutral channel for funding.

Good point. Need the developers from industry to be engaged. They may
want to be, but may not have the opportunity or can't justify it
because prpl is still too much of an unknown brand. Perhaps having an
"OpenWrt Foundation" would help justify more engagement, akin to how
industry developers are able to participate in Linux Foundation
events. Then prpl can have a layer on top of that to help bridge
industry to community a bit more from the business requirements side.

>> To this day I don't know if there is some strategic communication going
>> on about this inside prpl that is just not communicated to us, or if the
>> prpl members simply don't bother to talk about this stuff and only drop
>> off some buzzword lists of high level things they wish for, without
>> actually bothering to go into specific details.
>> I've heard rumors leaning towards one or the other side, but I don't
>> know much about what's actually going on behind the scenes.

Not trying to hide anything. Private communication related to the
prplWrt PEG is not necessary either. What would we talk about? I doubt
the OpenWrt core team tries to hide things either, and yet that has
been one of the complaints at the Summit's -- companies using OpenWrt
don't "know much about what's actually going on behind the scenes".
Insufficient effort spent communicating broadly goes both ways.

>> I think for prpl to be able to help here, a lot more transparency in
>> communication is needed. I did not find the kind of strategic discussion
>> required for that kind of collaboration in the prpl sync calls I
>> attended either. From my superficial review of the meeting notes, it
>> seems that this is just not the place for it.

Probably not the right participants for the calls/meetings to be
satisfying for you. We could try to invite specific developers on
specific topics to make it more worthwhile perhaps.


Next action will be to arrange a hangouts call on this funding idea.
We'll setup a doodle to find a date/time.
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