re: How do we proceed? (My thoughts on several of the topics discussed in this thread...)
I recommend a lot of hardware and software to friends and professionals. My reputation is bound up in the quality of experience that people have. I really like OpenWrt, and the power, capability, and simplicity that it offers.
My over-arching goal for OpenWrt is that I feel comfortable saying to a modestly-skilled person, "Oh, you want a good router? Just go to OpenWrt.org and you will see how to install new firmware that will work *way* better than your vendor's stock build."
This implies a few things:
- The main OpenWrt.org home page should let people know they've come to the right place. People should get the notion that "OpenWrt Just Works", that they can install better firmware in their existing router, or if they want to replace it, then here are suggestions...
- There should be a clear path (needing only two or three clicks) that gets them to a) the firmware for their router, and b) the instructions for installing. And people should be successful a high percentage of the time (90%? 95%?) using the instructions.
- Visitors want to feel comfortable that they can get help if they have trouble/questions. The forum's pretty good, but it would be nice if people succeeded a higher fraction of the time, so they didn't have to ask...
Is this a good goal ("OpenWrt Just Works for Newbies") for the project?
Based on my desires above, let me also say:
- Let's improve what we have. The bottom-level pages (the ones that can be edited by people who have the knowledge and care to share) are in reasonable shape. We need to update the top-level stuff to be more helpful.
- We definitely should have a template for a perfect "Device Details" page.
- I am pinning a lot of my hopes on the Device Details pages linked off the ToH. I want to steer people toward models that have a link to firmware and installation instructions because (presumably), they have been tested to be accurate.
- As a corollary, I have the hopes that we can encourage OpenWrt wiki members to maintain and upgrade the device details pages for routers they own. The work that @tmo26 and @zo0ok have done is spectacular, but I don't want it to become a full-employment act :-)
- Finally, I believe nearly all the other pages in the Wiki are secondary. (Mind, they're critically important to the project.) But the audience for those pages is already familiar with OpenWrt and/or its concepts. Let's not distract new people by discussions of building OpenWrt, source tree, APIs, or other details that geeks need to know about. (There can always be a "For Advanced Users" section on any of those top-level pages, but new people should be able to identify that they don't need those on day one.)