I constantly see DD-WRT as the recommended 3rd party firmware out there, with a handful of people gravitating toward Tomato due to the clean/simple UI. I think everyone here probably agrees that OpenWrt is the best choice, but it can definitely be intimidating to someone new this sort of stuff and definitely challenging for someone not familiar with networking and routers in general. I think a few simple changes could make OpenWrt much more friendly to this group of people.
1. A Luci-based guided setup on first run. It would:
set a router admin password
choose between router, AP, WDS, and repeater modes
configure the WAN connection
configure WiFi with default security set to WPA2-PSK (maybe not even expose security mode to the user)
configure an isolated guest WiFi network
possibly point to the simplified package manager (see below) at the end
2. A basic and advanced mode in Luci
Basic mode shows only basics and hides settings that can break things or that aren't used all that often.
Basic should also have some help in a side bar or via link (to wiki?)
Simplified status page that just shows connection status, connected clients, and possibly warnings
Simplifed log that just shows the most critical info
Advanced mode is what we have today, but could use some more help text.
3. A simplified package manager
rather than the vast list of packages we have available, show the most commonly used ones that have Luci-apps available (QoS, UPNP, vnstat, file sharing).
Display friendly names (e.g. Windows file sharing instead of Samba)
Use a simple on/off button to install/enable/start the package (similar to FreeNAS plugins).
Even better would be a guided setup after installation.
Advanced mode turns on the full package manager we have today
A nice example of this in a commercial router is TP-Link's new interface used in the Archer C8/C9. If that's open source for whatever reason, it would be great to just take it (doubtful). There's a simulated UI available on the web here:
Note that in the simulation, if you try to do anything that actually tries to connect to the internet, the simulation breaks down.
Somewhat unrelated is #4: To keep newbies out of trouble, include Luci in trunk builds! There are tons of support requests on the forums for help with this problem. I wonder how many more just think their router is bricked. Many wiki pages link to trunk because that was the only choice at the time the wiki was written, and this of course gets the newbie that doesn't know better into trouble.
(Last edited by drawz on 17 Nov 2014, 02:36)