[OpenWrt-Devel] OpenWrt / LEDE

Jo-Philipp Wich jo at mein.io
Thu May 26 14:07:35 EDT 2016

Dear Kathy,

> I appreciate your well-written summary and the notable improvements.
> Moving to git and keeping history, improving the web site and
> documentation to enable more collaboration, making workflows more
> efficient and open, etc. had been discussed during face-to-face
> gatherings of OpenWrt core + industry, at ELCE events over the past
> couple years.

I would've considered myself "core" yet I've never attended ELCE (too
expensive for me) or any face to face meeting and I don't recall any
meeting contents being discussed en detail among the other core
developers which, in my opinion, underlines the nature of the internal
communication troubles plaguing OpenWrt.

The only thing I remember was Steven writing a short summary about the
topics discussed at the last OpenWrt summit.

I have no problem with not being able to attend conferences and I have
no problem with other developers maintaining industry relations, neither
do I object industry investment into OpenWrt but what I do mind is the
fact that, I, as "core developer", have to actively seek for the things
happening between OpenWrt and external entities and to find things
myself you apparently talked about with some developers in the past already.

> I got involved as a liaison from the perspective of the
> prpl Foundation with the core objective of improving OpenWrt, and
> setting up the workflow so that more of industry developers could both
> use and contribute to it.

Maybe I should've paid more attention to your past actions, maybe others
should've spoken upfront about their agreements with industry partners,
maybe I was just too careless - I don't know. In any case it seems that
LEDE was implementing things you've envisioned long ago which I regard
as a confirmation of our ideas.

> Bravo on fulfilling some of the topics that
> had only been talked about for some time -- that's a big help.

I do not know who was attending which meetings and which topics have
been talked about on whose behalf and what promises have been made there
but what I did notice was that little effort has been put into bringing
the project forward during the last five years at least.

With effort I do not mean things you can quantify in terms of lines of
code or commit count but the general work being done to shape the
project at all which includes, among other topics, the willingness to
get external help for infrastructural matters, to give up control, to
adopt new ideas and to accept work done by volunteers to e.g. rework the
home page, to interact with the community or to actually merge

> I really hope you all can bring these enhancements together and go
> back to working on one project. From a marketing/communications
> standpoint, I'd suggest keeping the OpenWrt project name. It is highly
> recognized and probably only a slim fraction of "users" (people and
> companies who download and reflash their routers) will have heard of

I still do hope that there might be a way to rejoin the projects and
time will tell if it is going to work out. That is, however, not my
decision to make but something all involved people should be comfortable

> Regarding the unfinished business to "Start a proper discussion with
> OpenWrt...", I have my fingers crossed that you can resolve any
> remaining differences. Are there any LEDE objectives, rules,
> processes, or whatever that you think are still controversial?

I don't know, this is why we attempt to get a discussion started to
figure out if OpenWrt is willing to work under the new objectives and
what LEDE can do to make this happen.

> If so, reach out directly to whomever disagrees and start talking. Or go
> through Mike Baker to facilitate a dialog.

This is what we're trying to do - since Haukes previous attempt at
staging an IRC meeting failed I proposed to take matters to the list
since I regard an IRC chat to be an unsuitable medium for having such a
rather long running discussion. The time constraints and timezone
differences encourage preliminary, not well-thought responses which - in
my opinion - outweighs the benefit of having a real time conversation.

I do not want to go through specific persons using private communication
in order to facilitate a dialog and frankly, I don't see a reason why I
would need to.

As you might've noticed, we've been very careful to not point fingers at
anyone and when I raise certain concerns over previous mishaps I am
certainly not excluding myself.

> In summary, I like the enhancements made and the idea of hosting
> OpenWrt development on github and bringing everyone back together, but
> I don't like the idea of changing the well-established name of OpenWrt
> to LEDE.

I am very happy to hear that you endorse our ideas regarding the mode of
development. We agree that OpenWrt is a valuable trademark but a
trademark without a good product backing it becomes worthless eventually.

Thanks for understanding,
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