I’m a long time OpenWRT user, enthusiast. I’ve got a R7800 since a few years and my networked devices have been the same for a few years. I also experience a worse user experience in stability and performance when using a stable 19.07.5, master build from March 28 recently or a stable 19.07.7 release. In the latter two I’ve replaced the -ct driver and firmware with what is known as the mainline ath10k driver and firmware. When doing that, stability and performance increased to the levels of user experience I’m used to ever since I flashed my first OpenWRT release years ago.
I understand the decision from devs to switch from mainline ath10k to ath10k-ct as default. But from what I see, after searching for similar experience I’d like to advocate for an open and fair discussion together.
From a developer point of view I understand the motivation to switch to -ct because at least both driver and firmware go from 0 active developers to 1 active developer, with a changelog so it is public what has been changed. I totally agree and support that. Now comes the “but”:
But as we can see from that one active -ct developer’s GitHub repo, there is not much activity during the year. Issues are created but take a long time to bisect. Like @wired mentioned, reporters are simply giving up because one developer can only do so much, just like the reporter. In some cases there is a knowledge gap between reporter and developer so they can only get to a point as to agree there’s an issue, but are unable (but not unwilling) to help eachother.
In fact, in retrospect, one could suggest that instead of having one active developer occasionally solving old “mainline” issues might not weigh up to the active development causing regression and introducing new functionality that statistically will introduce new bugs as well, causing a degraded experience on stability and performance.
However, as we can also see on the other GitHub repo, the mainline ath10k firmware is still actively developed. And true; there is no changelog so no public knowledge of what’s changed. I can imagine that is hard to work with as a developer. But it also seems to me that there’s a lot of happy OpenWRT folks out there experiencing a setback on performance and stability when the switch to -ct drivers and firmware was made, causing them to either undo that manually to “old mainline” ath10k driver and firmware if they manage to do that themselves, or give up on OpenWRT (whilst this is often the basis on which other firmware’s are built upon).
Please bear with me, open and fair. No bad intent, just the intention to explore and do good