[Cerowrt-devel] failing to find the "declared victory" in a current wifi router

Sebastian Moeller moeller0 at gmx.de
Wed Jul 8 18:16:00 EDT 2015

Hi Joe,

On Jul 8, 2015, at 22:28 , Joe Touch <touch at isi.edu> wrote:

> Hi, Sebastian,
> On 7/8/2015 1:15 PM, Sebastian Moeller wrote:
>> Hi Joe,
>> On Jul 8, 2015, at 20:37 , Joe Touch <touch at isi.edu> wrote:
> ...
>>> The other step, IMO, would be two flags in the OpenWRT list of hardware:
>>> 	- a flag/color that indicates that the most recent hardware rev
>>> 	supports BB
>>> 	- a different flag/color that indicates that the most recent
>>> 	hardware rev supports CC
>> If you look at http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start you should have
>> noticed two columns: version and status: status was/is supposed from
>> which version openwrt supports that specific router version is
>> supposed to tell which versions of said router actually fall under
>> the supported status.
> The information isn't clear:
> 	- does this indicate the openwrt version that first supported
> 	the hardware? or the specific version that is required?

	Actually both; I assume it to be the openwrt revision under which the device worked initially. Hopefully this also means that revision or newer, but unless its popular hardware it might not be tested at all with more recent revisions and hence might have regressed back into non-working territory.

> 	- for devices with multiple versions, this doesn't
> 	indicate whether the most recent version is supported or
> 	if the information refers to legacy versions

	Unless you come up with a sure fire way to figure out the “most recent version” this line of argument is leading nowhere, fast ;) But if you follow the link that does doubly duty as the model name in the wiki you end up on the model specific web site that often gives exactly the information you here require, which hardware revision started working with which openwrt revision. Then again often enough even the detailed version stays silent on this topic. A subtle call to action for user’s of that device ;)

>> Granted, status are not filled for all routers and sometimes with the
>> unfortunate label “trunk” without stating a date or release number,
>> but these seem to be the minority. Version seems to be in worse shape
>> with lots of “-“ and “?”.
>> By the way, you keep repeating the phrase “most recent hardware rev.”
>> as if there was a common repository somewhere on the web from which
>> to deduce what the most recent incarnation of each specific router
>> name/type is; as it stands this information is filled in by
>> volunteers, based on what version they got from a store/vendor/OEM
>> and their installation testing/development. I would love to learn if
>> you have a better way of collecting that information preferably in an
>> automated fashion?
> Sorry; to be more clear, I'm only asking for a different way of seeing
> the information already on the site.
> E.g., the Linksys WNDR4300 indicates support for v1 under BB, but that's
> not the version that's now sold; when I click through to the device page
> I see the information that indicates that the most recent motherboard
> version is not currently supported at all.

	Let me be pedantic, the most recent version documented in the wiki, there might be a v3 out there somewhere and we just do not know yet.

> I.e., I would have found the table much more useful if it had indicated:
> device		BB	CC	highest board rev/support
> -------------------------------------------------
> WNDR4300	V1	no	V2/no
> The BB column would tell me whether BB works and on what revs (and could
> list more than one board rev); similarly for the CC column.

	And that is a loosing proposition on a wiki maintained by volunteers; as you have indicated yourself the amount of time people are willing to invest in something like a hardware wiki is pretty small, not necessarily for occasional “spring cleaning” like it is happening now, but rather the small maintenance work of keep adding new revisions once they are discovered. Also what about DD, and the most likely following EE… the table gains columns quickly that way ;)

> The last column above would tell me whether to bother trying to buy this
> device now.

	You assume that the retail channel only carries the most recent version, do you? Which is unfortunately not true…

> All this information could be derived by clicking on the many devices in
> the list; I'm suggesting a different organization that would be more
> useful to those trying to get on board and join the project.

	I believe you will be quite happy once the changes to the ToH wiki page that are currently in midair land on the wiki; as far as I can see a lot of that reorganization is happening. If you want to contribute your insight and expertise have a look at the following thread: https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=56521 …

>>> The current list is a confusing mix of information about very old,
>>> sometimes EOL (end-of-life) equipment.
>> What is bad about keeping information? Just because a device is EOL 
>> by its manufacturer/vendor does not necessarily mean it is completely
>> out of the retail channel/ second hand retail/sharing channel, so
>> keeping information how to give such devices a “second life” as
>> openwrt routers seems like a good idea to me.
> Nothing is wrong with keeping the info; the issue is whether and when to
> push it to a separate page.

	Never? Just make the whole thing filterable, which I believe is being prototyped as we speak ;)

> Again, I do hope the feedback is useful.

	I have a hunch it would be even more useful if voiced in a way the openwrt developers/documenters community could actually see your ideas… (as far as I know Rich Brown is the only one here working on improving the openwrt wiki (and I am really glad he is doing it as I like his documentation a lot, but I digress))

Best Regards

> Joe

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