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

Felix Fietkau nbd at openwrt.org
Wed Mar 9 22:11:03 CET 2016

On 2016-03-09 17:46, Kathy Giori wrote:
> Saverio and all,
> Let me offer a few thoughts, since I've been involved in prpl since
> the beginning, and you can either praise (preferred) or blame me for
> initiating the prplwrt PEG. :)
> My initial goal was simple -- improved industry-community
> collaboration. But my secondary goal, assuming trust relationships
> would be established, had also been the idea of funding OpenWrt
> developers via prpl. Why not industry direct? Partly not to skew the
> project toward one specific vendor, but also because industry-direct
> funding to individual developers, or even professional services
> companies out of country of the funder, can be problematic
> (logistically/legally). I lived through some painful attempts.
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.

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.

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.

> It is wasteful to see industry re-invent the wheel in
> custom/proprietary or even open source ways, when there are FOSS
> solutions to a problem. Sometimes industry isn't aware (shame for not
> looking harder), but often they worry about lack of "control". If prpl
> could establish the means to collaborate effectively, then we can
> discourage industry from either being completely redundant, or from
> forking FOSS projects such as OpenWrt (and direct kernel hacks) into
> hard-to-maintain dead ends.
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.

> And finally, I'm hoping that prpl will help raise OpenWrt developer
> voices, to bring your valuable insight to be heard by industry.
> Especially important is the need for upstream Linux kernel development
> (all BSP and kernel driver support). Also important is "giving back",
> making submissions directly to OpenWrt trunk (or a staging branch if
> not ready for trunk). In other words, in addition to upstreaming,
> silicon vendor SDK support on top of OpenWrt should be
> pushed/integrated with OpenWrt as much as possible.
I think plenty of OpenWrt developers already frequently raise their
voices. What's needed is for the industry to not just listen, but also
to communicate back. For that to be effective, we need to be sure that
any useful feedback isn't being drowned out by a miscalibrated filter ;)

- Felix

More information about the Battlemesh mailing list