prpl is a consortium with Qualcomm and Imagination Technologies as its leading members, which basically collects money to help progress OpenWRT. But there are also other platforms on top of OpenWRT. But the big companies must get used to the fact that they don’t control the project. But hopefully with things like prpl it will be possible to get the companies to open up more of what they’re doing internally and contribute back.
Industry currently often uses OpenWRT in R&D but the actual product in the end uses the vendor SDK of e.g. Qualcomm. If they switch to OpenWRT for their SDK, this will actually make life easier for the vendors.
Cisco wants to provide third-party services on the (OpenWRT) router – they’re almost ready to upstream that.
OpenWRT is more like a confederacy than a union: it’s a group of entities with separate interests.
The project has grown very big in userbase, but the project itself hasn’t scaled as much in infrastructure (e.g. automated tests, documentation). prpl could help with that.
Vendors have proprietary patches, e.g. to create a signed image. This doesn’t get upstreamed because it’s not in shape and it’s not considered worth spending time on shaping it.
OpenWRT doesn’t have a clear leader that people can talk to if they want to spend money to improve things. That could again improve with prpl, which has a community manager.
Documentation is clearly a major issue with OpenWRT: it was mentioned about 100 times. Quote: “I will answer your question, and if you update the documentation with it you can bug me as much as you like!”. Having the documentation on the Wiki is part of the problem.
Quote: “You (OpenWRT ) pretty much suck at public relations.” E.g. release data, roadmap, who to contact, when is there a hackfest, … Can prpl be considered as an umbrella foundation? Yes, and you can donate money to it :-).