[LEDE-DEV] Stability & release plans

Jo-Philipp Wich jo at mein.io
Mon Oct 24 09:50:29 PDT 2016

Hi yanosz,

Alberto kindly pointed out that your inquiry didn't receive any response
so far, so please excuse the lack of communication.

> running a community based wifi network based on OpenWRT I'm thinking
> about using lede. Do you have any suggestions on this?

The general suggestion is always to stick with whatever works for you -
if OpenWrt is solid for you at the moment then it might make sense to
stay on it until there are really pressing reasons to change.

> For doing so, I see the need for a more less stable base (stable as in:
> few bugs, few refactorings / changes over time) Looking at lede at
> moment I seed nightly builds and agile moving trunk, only.

Exactly, LEDE has no fixed release just yet and is still quite volatile,
though slowly stabilizing - at least wrt. structural buildroot changes.

> It's essential, that tutorials on wifi node setups are usable over time,
> that provided settings are applicable for a reasonable and foreseeable
> amount of time and that users are able to install additional packages
> (even kernel modules such as batman-adv) weeks / months after a release.


> From my impression this cannot be done using nightly builds based trunk
> snapshots. :-(

Correct, snapshots are very volatile and quickly stale (especially wrt.
kernel modules) therefor I wouldn't recommend to use them as-is.

Whats always an option is mirroring the particular version you're using
and the use that instead, this way you at least have access to suitable
kmods in the foreseeable future. In such a setup it is also enough to
just mirror the packages within the targets/ directory and continue
using updated .ipk files from the packages directory.

> When lede was founded earlier this year, the goals were [1]:
> "- Building a great embedded Linux distribution with focus on stability
>   and functionality.

Still the goal :)

> - Having regular, predictable release cycles coupled with community
>   provided device testing feedback.

Device testing topic fell down to the end of the priority list but its
still a goal the project pursues I'd say.

> - Establishing transparent decision processes with broad community
>   participation and public meetings."

The transparent decision process is in place. If you see no public
decisions on a particular topic it means that there has been none,
neither public nor nonpublic.

Public meetings still happen, with the last one being a while back. With
the few meetings we had so far, it quickly turned out that finding a
common date and squeezing every topic into a given time frame is hard,
so it was concluded that we should discuss topics on mailing lists
instead and only talk about unsolved issues in realtime meetings.

> Is this still up to date or has lede's focus changed so far?

Those goals still stand and when they're not met then only due to a lack
of time or commitment, not due to changed directions in the project.

> Please don't get me wrong - I really do appreciate your work and your
> doing a very got in job in developing an embedded Linux distribution -
> but this not the point.
> I'm in the need for a predictable release cycle and a transparent
> decision process on upcoming release dates.

Since there has been no conclusive agreement (or even a discussion) on
specific dates yet, there's not much public chatter to find around this
particular topic but let me share my personal plans for the upcoming weeks:

Starting with november I'll have some spare time at my hands which I'd
like to invest into a second buildbot setup dedicated to building
release branches and once this setup is in place, use it to build a
release test in order to formalize and nail down the release process
mechanics so that we can easily repeat building artifacts in the future.

Once the infrastructure for that is in place (right now I assume it'll
be around the 2nd week of november) I'd like to kick off a discussion in
order to reach an agreement on the release date and goals.

I also quickly summarized those plans on our last meeting in june,
please refer to

> If lede's mission has changed so far, please let me know - if not,
> please let me know how to get information on upcoming release plans.

I hope the statements above clarified things a bit, will follow up with
some more detailed plans on the LEDE-ADM list soon.


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