[Cerowrt-devel] Where we're winning

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Sun Dec 4 14:16:18 EST 2011


I am incredibly open to suggestions as to how to make cerowrt less
of a success disaster.

First up on my list was to try and communicate
better about the state of the project. This includes things like
activating the cerowrt-commits mailing list, and starting this one.

Where we are winning:

1) Stability - no final release candidate has EVER crashed. So far as
I know none of the smoketests later than say, a '4', has ever crashed,
either. This is an amazing tribute to the linux and openwrt development
process, and (in some small part) the degree of testing that I do.

2) Press. With cringley and lwn.net and slashdot, we have
got nothing but rave reviews and encouragement for what we're
trying to do.

3) We have incredible amounts of verbal support from heavyweights
in the industry, starting wtih jim gettys of course. The expressions of
support and interest from tons of people that I admire deeply keep
me going...

4) Openwrt itself has improved dramatically - 99.9% of this would have
happened without our feedback, frankly - but it has been amazing to
watch the quality of its tools, device drivers, kernel, and packages
improve on what seems to be a daily basis. Recently, I took
a look at the gui from back in june to where it is now, and *wow*.

5) As a research tool, Cerowrt has been utterly invaluable (to me at least)
for understanding the current (mis)behavior of wireless, the
interrelationships of the stack and drivers and packet scheduler, and
for getting a good grip on what is actually possible to achieve on
a modern consumer-grade device.

At this point I'm utterly certain that

A) it is possible to implement very complex queue management and
thus, begin to beat bufferbloat at the network edge, where it bothers
people the most.

B) it is possible to improve wired and wireless behavior enormously

C) it is possible to implement advanced functionality like dnssec and
windows services

D) it is possible to get ipv6 working, routing working, local web and
DNS services working, and a whole lot more

In summary, it IS possible to build a device far superior to anything
shipped today, one that can set an example for the rest of the industry,
save everyone time, and hassle, and do it for very low cost, AND
consisting almost purely of software that can be applied to any
hardware with the same capabilities, thus introducing competition
to drive the costs down while holding the desirable feature set
to a whole new standard.

and we didn't know any of that when we started.

I am very encouraged by the progress we've made
towards understanding and defeating bufferbloat over the past year.

However, the last several months of this project have
had some problems that have really been holding back
progress, and I'll get to talking about the negatives in a day
or two.

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts towards where we
can go with this project in the coming year that will have the
most  impact on improving the state of things at the Internet edge,
please share them here.

"Ask not what cerowrt can do for you, but what you can do
 for cerowrt!"

Where else are we winning? What else can do better?

Dave Täht
SKYPE: davetaht
US Tel: 1-239-829-5608
FR Tel: 0638645374

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