[OpenWrt-Devel] The old days are gone; OpenWrt is a product now

Daniel Dickinson openwrt at daniel.thecshore.com
Tue Mar 29 16:10:00 EDT 2016

Hi all,

I realized what part of my frustration (aside from medically causes 
reasons for oversensitivity) is that what I wanted from OpenWrt is not 
what OpenWrt is anymore.  I was looking for the old days of GNU/Linux 
when most everyone was playing and sharing the results of playing to 
benefit the community of players, and any contribution was welcome.

Those days are long gone, and for Linux as a whole and OpenWrt in 
particular the emphasis is now on a product and has a lot more rigour.

This is good for people who want a final product that approachs 
commercial quality (but sorry, if I wanted true commercial quality I'd 
build something based on Yoctol; if I was going to do 'real work' that's 
where I'd go), but not so good for people who want to experiment and 
play and share the results of same, and want to be welcomed for that 
type of input rather than treating OpenWrt as a second, unpaid, job.

The reality is that projects that get too serious lose community 
interest because most community members aren't looking for a second job, 
so unless you've got commercial interests willing to contribute back to 
the project, you lose mind share.

The Linux kernel is really not a playground anymore; it is dominated by 
commercial interests.  OpenWrt is trying to be like the kernel without 
the companies that contribute back.

Basically people who wonder why things like the attempt at an OLPC 
community failed miss that fact that if you make things too much like 
work, you need work-level incentives; if things you make things unfun 
then people who want to play not work won't be interested, and that 
means you some way to motivate people to do free work.  There are far 
fewer people who find that an interesting way to spend their time than 
people who will work either work for pay or play.  GNU/Linux didn't 
attract its initial developer and user base by being serious work, it 
grew to the point where enough people get paid to work on it, and 
contribute back, that it can take that approach.


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