[OpenWrt-Devel] Introducing the LEDE project

Luiz Angelo Daros de Luca luizluca at gmail.com
Fri May 6 00:31:18 EDT 2016

I like to take decisions based more on "Realpolitik" than on
ideology/feelings. I have no side and no feelings for any of people
involved. I just want to have a good router distribution.

What is a OSS project? It is the sum of work of people. So, the future of a
project lies on how much people will work on it.

Let's face: if you sum the commits count* of those leaving, you start to
worry about OpenWRT:

 10815 nbd <<
  4531 juhosg
  3649 blogic <<
  3436 florian
  2654 nico
  2183 jow <<
  1482 kaloz
  1414 hauke <<
   925 wbx
   718 cyrus <<

  512 Steven Barth <<
   469 Ted Hess <<
   256 Marcel Denia
   250 Daniel Golle <<
   235 Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos
   230 sbyx
   214 Hannu Nyman
   202 Alexandru Ardelean
   162 Jo-Philipp Wich <<
   154 Nicolas Thill
(git shortlog -s -n | head -10)

*yes, I know that they are not the author of all commits but they were the
ones that reviewed the patches and committed them.

If you lose most of the committers, the project will REALLY lag behind, to
a point of losing its self sustainability. Those leaving represents more
than 50% of commits of all time and, since 2014, they are the top 6 devs
with more than 80% of commits.
(git shortlog -s -n 3328763a8d0abbcbcf79b5a91e6abbb0b55b3119..HEAD  | head
They are(were) the ones currently working.

One of the complaints was that there were no process of introducing new
devs. So, when a bunch of them leave, what will happen? Ease the process of
including new devs (which is one of the demanded changes)? Do we really
think that there is a suppressed supply of developers wanting to replace
the leaving devs?

It seems that the decision power in OpenWRT does not match the amount of
work each one is currently dedicating to the project.

What might happen with the fork?

OpenWRT loses 80% of its development power (not counting those that leave
to LEDE after).
LEDE might attract more devs with an open politic (as packages are much
better at github). In the end, if LEDE succeeds on balance more devs,
stability and new resources, everybody will use it and OpenWRT will start
to rot. If it fails, both projects might die and everybody loses.

This was already happened with OpenOffice/LibreOffice (I guess with
ffmpeg/libav less devs left). They created a new project because of
disagreement (with Oracle). Devs flew to the new project. The old one
started to rot and ended dropped to the community. I guess most of the
current downloaders of OpenOffice do not know LibreOffice and they are not
power users. With OpenWRT, most of downloaders are power users.

You can replace infrastructure in a matter of weeks. Replace a brand in
months. However, you need years or decades to form a development team.

What are the options for OpenWRT Decision Team (as the development team
just left)?

1) Do nothing. Let LEDE take its chances. If it succeed, it will take the
place of OpenWRT and OpenWRT will rot. If not, we'll might have a version
of mutual assured destruction.

2) The remaining OpenWRT Core Team accept some (or all) terms of the LEDE
Team. Face it. There were already most of the "OpenWRT Core Team". Now give
them the corresponding decision power.

Even if all the remaining of the OpenWRT Core Team resign now and give all
the control to LEDE, OpenWRT will be less affected than the current

If I felt that my position would put in danger a project on which I
dedicated and care so much, I would rather simply resign than let my work
be gone. OpenWRT should be more than someone's project. However, there is
no need to anyone to leave but a need of power transferring.

The ones with current decision power at OpenWRT will either give away some
of its power or they will lose it all (in favor of a rebooted OpenWRT
leaded by LEAD or because it simply became irrelevant).


Luiz Angelo Daros de Luca
luizluca at gmail.com
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