LEDE Showcase page

Thanks @tmomas for creating the Proposal 2 page at: https://lede-project.org/playground/showcase2 that collects our three views on how we talk about the project.

There is a lot of commonality between them (no surprise, since we're talking about the same project.) They all sing the praises of LEDE and give readers a sense of what it might do for them.

I will plead guilty to more vivid writing. I think it's critical to grab the reader's attention, providing reasons that LEDE will solve problems they have.

Some will come to the project already believing that LEDE can fix their router's firmware. But for the majority of readers, they don't know about LEDE (or OpenWrt, or maybe even the subject of router firmware) and they need a description that they can identify with - that describes their current situation. Once they understand that LEDE might apply to them, they still want concrete reasons to read further.

There was an interesting talk given by someone at RedHat titled, If You Build It, They Won't Come. It talks about why you need to market a project, why you need to speak clearly about what it does, how it will benefit the reader, and how they can participate. (I hasten to mention that we're doing pretty well in most of the categories the speaker described. Thanks to all our hard work, we have a pretty good web site, decent documentation, great forums, etc.)

But I want to avoid the problem that "people don't know we exist". Although we have a solid core, we need to bring in new people (both simple users as well as super techies) to continue to grow LEDE's base.

So I advocate for lively writing, and would even want to put it on the home page.

@stangri,

https://lede-project.org/playground/showcase2
TOR would be a nice addition to this.
So that Guest users are not being tracked on your IP. Or their surfing habits are not being linked to your google tracking profile. In other words, that google will not nag you with mother-in-law related ads.
And specially for the children's network extra privacy would be nice, children can't protect themselves form Big Brother and other online scum.

@richb-hanover,

Thanks.
If You Build It, They Won't Come - Ruth Suehle, Red Hat The actual video of that 45 minute entertainment.

That's precisely my point. There should be a short (elevator pitch) write-up on the start page on "why use LEDE" and a separate showcase page. @richb-hanover's page combines the two and I believe a short "why use LEDE" deserves placement on the start page.

As I see things, there are three major points which summarize LEDE's USP:

  1. Functionality is extendable
  2. Many eyes on the code; no hidden vendor backdoors or bugs
  3. (Virtually) lifetime updates

If I'm missing something, feel free to add things up. I've tried my best to describe each of these points at https://lede-project.org/playground/start -- they sure can be converted to bulleted list. It's pretty much the carbon copy of the points I've posted on Why Use LEDE above.

The Showcase idea I've had was to ease the discovery of some of the more popular LEDE packages/uses, think of it as "top apps" in the app store on your smart phone. It's a great idea to have Showcase page (when it's ready and useful) linked from the start page as well (to supplement extendable point). Looking back I see how the "why use LEDE" heading in my original post might have been misleading.

I'd also side with @bobafetthotmail on his critique of some of @richb-hanover's points on why use LEDE.

Things like "robust, secure, high performance" can very well be argued. Default install of LEDE is pretty basic (many modern routers include guest WiFi, file & printer sharing as the default features, you do not get any of these benefits from the default LEDE install), doesn't support https for web ui, performance can take a hit considering lack of support for hardware NAT.
As far as "security flaws" go, as heartbleed has proven, project being open source is no guarantee for lack of errors or security flaws.

So it isn't immune to some of the attacks? Why? Again, nothing is immune, even OSS, as heartbleed has proven.

@tmomas, @richb-hanover, @bobafetthotmail -- do you guys agree on the need for the small section on why use lede on the start page? Let's get https://lede-project.org/playground/start to the point where it can replace the start page then.

@richb-hanover -- if the suggestion above passes, should we simplify the showcase page to only highlight the most popular packages? While this is being decided, do you mind if I add/edit some things in the packages section on the page you've created?

  • Small "Why use LEDE" on the startpage
  • Bigger "Things you can do with LEDE" on separate page

OK for me!

[quote="stangri, post:43, topic:270, full:true"]
As far as "security flaws" go, as heartbleed has proven, project being open source is no guarantee for lack of errors or security flaws.
...
So it isn't immune to some of the attacks? Why? Again, nothing is immune, even OSS, as heartbleed has proven. [/quote]I have explained the security part in my points.
"Security: LEDE's software components are kept up-to-date and and any vulnerability is closed by updates offered shortly after it is discovered. LEDE is immune to exploits that still plague most commercial products, that use (very) outdated software and don't really update anything after a few years."

Really the vulns in most commercial routers today affected OSS too back then, but in OSS world they were an issue like 4 years ago, and were fixed within weeks/months as usual. That's the issue of using outdated OSS software in the stock firmware.

Some vulns are specific to some OEM firmwares and their hacks to run on that device, LEDE is immune to that, but I'm ignoring them as they are few.

do you guys agree on the need for the small section on why use lede on the start page?

Ok for me.

Me too! I threw my "two cents worth" into https://lede-project.org/playground/start

I'm still open to more vivid writing on the home page, but I can also see that, without a stable release, it's hard to proselytize too vigorously.

I agree we should find a way to list/display/describe popular packages (it's way too daunting to look at 3000-item list and try to make sense of them...) The Showcase page might be a good way to do this.

And finally, I have enjoyed this impassioned (but Rule-12-compliant :slight_smile: ) discussion. With the inclusion of something in the "Why Use LEDE?" section, I'm content with whatever we decide for the home page for now. Let's agree to review it 30-60 days after we ship the first stable release. Thanks!

Personally I'd be careful with absolute statements because you never know what might happen the next day.
I'd probably state that LEDE is resilient to common vulnerabilities due to frequently updated components and a system architecture which avoids many common attack vectors.

I can back up the claim resilient by pointing out how we frequently avoided problems by choosing nonstandard components (shellshock -> no bash, heartbleet -> no openssl, ...) and I can back up the claim of avoiding common attack vectors (no default password, CRSF protection in the ui, ...) but I cannot back up the claim that LEDE is immune to vulnerabilities.

[quote="jow, post:47, topic:270, full:true"]Personally I'd be careful with absolute statements because you never know what might happen the next day.[/quote]With that sentence I meant that LEDE is immune to exploits that are still open (and will remain open because lack of updates) in commercial products, not that LEDE is immune to exploits in general.

Since you seem to have read it wrong, it probably needs to be rephrased.

Please see https://lede-project.org/playground/showcase2#tmomas for my proposal for a "Why use LEDE" section on the startpage. It is melted together from @richb-hanover and @bobafetthotmail input, modified a bit by myself.

  • Please focus on the primary reasons. Everything before the primary reasons in introduction / notepad only.
  • I'm not sure about inclusion of the secondary reasons. Your comments please.

@tmomas - I like it. I took an editorial pass, and deprecate my thoughts in favor of the bottom list on that page. https://lede-project.org/playground/showcase2#tmomas Thanks.

I rephrased a bit and added the ---- line again, in order to stress that I would like to keep this section of the startpage quite short.

I don't really like the "industry-standard" - it sound's like marketing blah.
Also "dramatically" is a bit too much for my taste. It's easier to overfulfill expectations if you keep them low, or at least put them not at the highest level :slight_smile:

https://lede-project.org/playground/showcase2#tmomas

regarding the items below the line:

Which one of those would you move up above the line?

Edit:

  • "Stability" could be added to "Performance"
  • "LEDE prolongs the life of your router" already included in "Performance"
  • -> leaves "Open source" / "No cost"

I agree with jow, it is a very positive statement, and caution should be used. 'Immune' is a strong word and smells a lot of marketing. And with this being a community and not a private company looking to make a quick buck, I think marketing is something we, as a project, should steer clear of.

As happy as I am to be able to use LEDE, that doesn't mean it's perfect, and words/statements like 'immune', 'only found in high-end devices, and then some', or 'any vulnerablity is closed by updates shortly after it is discovered' do suggest this is embedded Valhalla. You don't want that. It's a common marketing pitfall: raise expectations, then your 'customer' runs into a problem and suddenly the bright picture starts looking pretty bleak. We shouldn't lie to people; they're being lied to every day by marketeers.

I understand what you want to convey, but we should refrain from making overly positive (or absolute) statements. It reads like marketing speak, and it comes back to haunt you.

[quote="Borromini, post:53, topic:270, full:true"]I understand what you want to convey, but we should refrain from making overly positive (or absolute) statements. It reads like marketing speak, and it comes back to haunt you.[/quote]I know, that's the same thing I said to richb-hannover in post 13

What I posted in my list (quite a bit above in this thread) was just an example, I wanted to still be positive like richb-hannover's list but with what for me were more accurate statements.

'only found in high-end devices, and then some'

actually true. Can most high-end devices run adblock for example? no.
Can most routers that advertise 3g/4g dongle compatibility actually work with most dongles supported by Linux (like LEDE)? no, they are usually a sad joke, working only with some select few.
Do they offer VPN servers? sometimes.
Do they offer all dynamic dns servers offered by LEDE's luci-app-ddns? no.

LEDE/OpenWRT can actually compete in features and modularity with consumer NAS products like say Synology or Qnap, that have "app stores" with "apps" for the NAS itself (the consumer NAS have a far more polished web interface for all their "apps" of course).

'any vulnerablity is closed by updates shortly after it is discovered'

Also true, most vulnerabilities don't last very long as someone upstream fixes the issue within a reasonable timescale and someone here updates the component.
The reaction times of OSS are much much much better than any embedded device manufacturer's and that's a fact.

@tmomas I'm lost now, first we talked about a small "Why use LEDE" on the start page, are we still working on that? The recent edit takes a lot of real estate in the browser and content-wise about as big as the current start page. I'm fine with the longer list of reasons, but I thought we should compress it to the elevator pitch length (and maybe link to "All/More reasons to use LEDE").

If we're doing the elevator pitch, let's pick the "primary reasons" and maybe then debate what would be a best sentence to describe them with minimal number of sentences on the start page?

  1. Extensible functionality
  2. Quick updates for lifetime of device
  3. Performance improvements
  4. Security improvements
  5. Stability
  6. Open Source
  7. Support (arguable, even with IRC and forum it might be hit or miss, there's no guarantee that someone will hold your hand walking you thru setting things up, while vendors do have people for that)
  8. Free

So that's 8 (not in the order of importance, but just so it's easier to refer to them) and I sincerely believe we should try to cover most of them with 3 sentences.

Between @tmomas and @richb-hanover the "Reasons to use LEDE" page is pretty much there, I think that the write-up on the start page should be much shorter tho (as not everyone reads below the "fold").

Also, I've received no feedback, but my choice of explaining how LEDE is extensible in layman terms comparing it to feature-phone vs smartphone didn't make the cut in @tmomas edits do you guys think it's too dumbed down?

PS. Now that https://lede-project.org/playground/showcase2#tmomas has been posted and community-edited, I'm on board with elaborate "why use LEDE" page with the "showcase" being a small part of it.

@bobafetthotmail: I'm not contending the truth of what you're stating. I am talking about the wording, which is very absolute :slight_smile: .

Like I said - what you say is true, but there are important caveats; here, the major one being you need to run an up to date version. Most people install and forget. While OEMs may offer outdated firmware, they tend to have some way to push updates. We do not. So technically, yeah, things are fixed quickly, but is your router is up to date as well? For most users, it probably isn't.

Don't forget that the people you try to 'sell' LEDE to are still end-users, albeit a more technically proficient. They don't see the possible drawbacks of community (or FOSS) software at first; they expect it to be like OEM software, only better. You play on those expectations, but we shouldn't sell half-truths. And with statements like these, we are.

Ok, ok, I get it. :slight_smile:

Like I said - what you say is true, but there are important caveats; here, the major one being you need to run an up to date version.

Good point, needs to be added to the security part. Something like "when there are vulnerabilities... LEDE offers updates for you to install" or "when there are vulnerabilities... you can update your router" something like that.

To show the "Why use LEDE?" paragraph in its surrounding, I created
https://lede-project.org/playground/start2

Any further comments?

I tweaked wording on one point, but it's looking really good.

Everyone else can take a shot at any final wording changes, and then I think we're close to "declaring victory" on these pages.

If you agree, we can also agree to look again after we ship our first release. Thanks, all!

Absolutely. For about 12 years my livelihood depended on convincing people to buy software on a web-page, I've done a lot of testing on how small wording changes affect sales. So I can't stress it enough -- there should be short strong message focusing on major things (security, extensibility, updates) on the start page and a separate elaborate page listing all the things making LEDE better than stock FW (btw, I thought we all agreed on the message on the start page being short).

I can work on both before the end of the weekend. @tmomas, I've started thinking of and bugging you on the why message on the start page, let me finish that incorporating the feedback provided by @richb-hanover, @Borromini, @bobafetthotmail and everyone else, do not make haste decisions.

If it's a matter of NIH syndrome and you don't want a non-dev outsider work on that, let me know so I won't waste my time.