[LEDE-DEV] Actual community change and additional developers compared to OpenWrt

Alberto Bursi alberto.bursi at outlook.it
Sun Oct 23 23:48:04 PDT 2016

On 10/24/2016 12:58 AM, Daniel Dickinson wrote:
> Hi,
> Several months after the split it looks like things have pretty much
> ended up where they were before the split.  It's starting to look like
> the talk of encouraging new blood, and being more open and transparent
> was more talk than real intention.  As much as I've gotten busy with
> personal issues that landed me in the hospital (sadly not before I did
> damage; although I stand by the statement that there was far too much
> hostility in the openwrt private discussions), I'm not sure why a split
> was necessary to get to where things are now.  LEDE is still pretty
> much a closed group with basically the same group of core developers as
> ever.
> I would do more if I could, but I've got problems of my own to deal
> with; I joined Facebook to reconnect with old friends because part of
> the reason I was so vocal was that I had gotten isolated as well as
> unwell, but the bounce back has been slow, and I'm not where I need to
> be to work towards a better solution myself.  Part of the problem, I
> think, is the lack of clear and consistent (and visible) governance and
> communication makes the project unappealing for companies to be
> interested in paying developers to work on either.  It's not enough to
> have code and commits, there needs to be a communications strategy as
> well, or the projects will die.
> Regards,
> Daniel

I tend to agree with the gist of this, although things are better now.
(and please let's not start again with the "you want a nazi leader like 
with OpenWRT!!!", there is some gray area between totally headless 
commune and nazi-like authoritarianism)

I think it's mostly because of the usual reasons in opensource projects.
Core developers are overloaded, and in what little time they have they 
prefer to code (understandable, but same self-defying issues in OpenWRT).

IMHO The only way we can get over this situation is if current core 
developers start giving others responsibility over some parts of the 
LEDE system/infrastructure, put down some decent documentation about 
current state of affairs in LEDE programs (what they do now and what 
they should do) and guidelines for checking contributions (mostly for 
people that must check if the patch/PR is valid).

I'm taking the linux kernel as a model where things are split up in 
subsystems and each subsystem has one or more mantainers. Yes it is not 
a headless commune, but it isn't a nazi-like authoritarian regime either 
(even if Torvalds likes to shout at people).

That way you can have a person that has commit access but can only 
commit stuff of his subsystem, and core devs only need to look at stuff 
filtered by others (or not if they don't have time).

This is the only way you can have more people in that checks incoming 
code and core devs can be less overloaded and can actually take 
decisions for the project where needed, or put down developer 
documentation (what we have is very outdated and partial).

I understand that people have a life and all, but a project like this 
cannot run headless forever because the 2-3 people that have access are 
busy. Solution -> more people with access, each to specific areas.

Really, there are already quite a few large-ish and not-so-large PRs 
rotting on Github, you can't afford to let them sit there for too long 
or the people will lose interest in sending them, and think you are the 
same as OpenWRT.

The same about that guy from a wifi community asking the state of 
affairs. You can't let that go unanswered. Bad PR will add up and again 
people will think you are the same as OpenWRT.

Sadly I can only take seriously community-oriented roles atm as I'm not 
a true programmer (I'm a junior Java developer tho), but with decent 
documentation and guidelines for checking patches I can help out with 
the PRs about new device support.


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