Radical idea -- manufacturer-based directories structure for release downloads

I understand the need to group images/SDK/image builders by platform rather than manufacturer for building, however wouldn't it be much easier for new users to find proper downloads if the releases were sorted by the manufacturer, not the platform? Because seriously, not many people (other than developers and long-time OpenWrt/LEDE users) know which platform their router belongs to and why complicate things making it harder for new users?

If there're reasons for not doing that other than it would require some work to get it done, please voice them.

Otherwise, besides a script for sorting the release images (maybe symlinking them to preserve the current structure for compatibility with existing documentation) -- what needs to be done?

We can have the __by_manufacturer__ directory at the top of the release one where symlinks to the images would be grouped by vendor, making them easier to find.

If it's a viable idea, I can take a shot at the script. With a bunch of directories/symlinks it shouldn't take much space on the server and it will probably be fast to parse the filenames.

Yeah, I see the problem with the script, not every image even has a vendor name in it. Can that be fixed somehow so that the script can be built?

Arguably if you don't know what you're doing, wouldn't you go through the wiki to find your image link?

I am familiar with my first time experience with opensource firmware and personally, the wiki was the first thing I used to not only understand how to install the firmware it provided me with direct links to the firmware. Additionally, my experience with other firmware website, I would use the one that is recommended in the wiki as a new user because installing something that may not work is frustrating (snapshot builds)

Think about it: Whats the first step a new user would do when they want to install a firmware on their router? They look whether its supported. Where can they find that? The wiki. The router's model page can provide a direct link to the (recommended) firmware.

Given a scenario where the structure was setup as you described. What if these new users started browsing the download directory and happen to not find their firmware? Is it likely that there would be a forum flooded with "I check the download section and can't find a firmware for abc.bin " (maybe possible) whereas they would know whether or not their device is supported in the wiki

You do not even need to know the vendor name. Just type in the model of your device: https://lede-project.org/toh/views/fwfiles_vs_dataentries_searchtable

  • The firmware files column contains (almost) all images that are available.
  • The device specs (=datantries) give you all technical information, including a link for firmware file download.
  • The installation instructions (=devicepages) give you... the obvious. Ideally, the devicepages also contain links for firmware file download (drawing that information out of the dataentries).

Why do we need now a firmware file directory which is structured by vendor, but is lacking the link to the installation instructions?

I agree with komawoyo: We have the wiki to provide additional info per device, with the dataentries being the link between firmware images and installation instructions.