Too many good submissions to OpenWrt Summit

Picture of a routerWhen I began my planning for the OpenWrt Summit, I have to admit I had doubts. Even though I knew the community was very strong, I’d never organized an event like this before. All kinds of extreme thoughts raced through my mind, like “what if no one shows up?” and “what if we don’t get enough submissions?” Most of these worries were unwarranted but yet they still existed. While I won’t be able to fully remove my fear of no one showing up until the event happens, the community came through and taught me that the second fear was completely unnecessary.

By the submission deadline of August 21, we had received far more submissions than we had slots for. Not only did we have an embarrassment of riches in terms of the number of submissions, but the quality was far beyond what I had even dreamed of. Rather than not having enough submissions, I had to figure out a way to cut down submissions to fit into our schedule. By adjusting and readjusting the length of potential sessions, I was able to come up with a lineup that features the best session proposals.

Education

Lots of people coming to the OpenWrt Summit have minimal experience with OpenWrt. We want to make sure these newcomers get a sense of the OpenWrt basics. Additionally, it’s great when this education is from leaders who know a topic inside and out. In our case, our sessions  on education are led by key members of the OpenWrt community.

We’ll begin the day with an intro to OpenWrt led by Steven Barth, a member of the OpenWrt core team. This gives everyone some basic understanding of OpenWrt as a project. From here you’ll get sense of how the OpenWrt community functions, what’s the release process like, who uses OpenWrt and what are some potential use-cases.

Next we’ll have two great in-depth educational sessions. Hauke Mehrtens, a core OpenWrt team member and maintainer of the brcm47xx and bcm53xx target in OpenWrt and Linux, will show you how to add support into OpenWrt for a new System on a Chip (SoC). Maintaining drivers outside of mainline Linux, generating images and maintaining different combinations of boards and SoCs will all be covered.

The networking subsystem is one of the most unique aspects of OpenWrt. Steven Barth will be back to discuss how networking works in OpenWrt, what makes it unique and valuable. As the lead developer of the current IPv6 subsystem of OpenWrt, Steven is a perfect guide to help you understand networking and OpenWrt.

Forks

One of the most important decisions the creators of an OpenWrt derivative can make is deciding whether to fork the main OpenWrt repository. Lots of different people have different opinions, but there isn’t necessarily clear documentation on what the best practices are. The OpenWrt Summit features two sessions from two different groups that made decisions on forking. Bedrich Kosata will discuss Project Turris, a security focused OpenWrt-based router created by CZ.NIC,  and Federico Capoano highlights the successes of the packaging mechanisms used in the OpenWISP Firmware.

Security

With the coming Internet of Everything revolution, security is at the front of everyone’s mind. OpenWrt Summit features some great topics on security in OpenWrt and the embedded space. Steven Barth will be back again to summarize new and ongoing security improvements in bleeding edge OpenWrt. Luka Perkov, another member of the core OpenWrt team, will discuss how you can use LXC to separate your applications on OpenWrt. Finally, Cesare Garlati, Chief Security Strategist of prpl Foundation, will look at the topic of security in embedded devices from a different angle.

Advanced OpenWrt Features

For a home router, you may not need some of the more advanced OpenWrt features. Businesses and organizations, though, often have complex needs. We’re fortunate to have two great sessions by two community members developing for complex scenarios. Hans Dedecker, a senior software engineer at Technicolor Connected Home, will highlight the challenges of supporting services over multiple WAN interfaces in OpenWrt and propose a solution for the community. Jos Delbar, also of Technicolor Connected Home, will highlight Technicolor extensions to OpenWrt’s UCI data model across a set of domains (including the physical layer, advanced switch configuration, QoS and wireless) and discuss community collaboration around UCI.

How companies and communities interact

Understanding the challenges and opportunities for collaboration between the community and industry is core to a full understanding of OpenWrt. Kathy Giori, Senior Product Manager at Qualcomm Atheros, will facilitate a panel discussion of industry engineers focusing on this vital interface between community ideas and corporate interests. Engineers will discuss their experiences working with the community and what they think can be done to improve industry collaboration with the community to the benefit of all.

Lightning talks

We couldn’t get every great session into a larger slot so we did the next best thing: lightning talks! Each of these talks will be only five minutes long which will give you a little taste of a topic. If that’s not enough, our evening activity should provide plenty of time for you and the presenter to go into more details.

Our lightning talk topics and speakers are:

  • Technicolor Homeware: Bringing OpenWrt to market – Jos Delbar
  • NetJSON: data interchange format for networks – Federico Capoano
  • Fwknop, Luci, and Qr Codes: A Lesson in Usability – Jonathan Bennett
  • Managing OpenWrt From the Cloud: What this means for the Internet of Things? – Simon Morley and Andrew Margarit
  • Your topic – You!

That’s right, we want you to do a lightning talk. Done some cool work with OpenWrt? Want to propose a new feature? A lightning talk is a perfect way to do it! You can add your name and topic to the list of lightning talks or wait until the event to sign up. We’ll be having an hour of lightning talks so at maximum we’ll have 12 slots.

Remember: Your lightning talk content must comply with the OpenWrt Summit Anti-Harassment Policy

FCC Update

While not yet officially on the lineup, I’ll be updating on the community on the FCC’s proposal to lock down routers and the activities of the Save WiFi movement, which includes prpl.

Wrap-Up

I’m absolutely delighted at the lineup we have for the OpenWrt Summit. The lineup is filled with people from all parts of the OpenWrt community. Each speaker is extremely qualified and I’m excited at actually seeing the sessions. If you’d like to join us, check out the information below or visit summit.prplfoundation.org.


 

Details

The OpenWrt Summit is October 8 in Dublin, Ireland at the CCD. Hosted at the same location as the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and happening the day after the end of the main ELCE program, the OpenWrt Summit is FREE to attend and does NOT require an ELCE ticket.

To make sure you have the energy to learn, prpl Foundation is delighted to provide morning and afternoon snacks as well as lunch to attendees. Additionally, we will be having an evening social event for the community to get together and continue our discussions.

We do request that attendees pre-register. This allows us to better plan the catering as well as honor any dietary requests you may have. Fortunately pre-registration is simple: if you’re already attending ELCE, you can easily add your registration to OpenWrt Summit as part of the ELCE registration. If you’re not attending ELCE, you can visit https://www.regonline.com/OpenWrtSummit to register.


 

Picture of router licensed under CC-BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/) from Hades2k (https://flic.kr/p/ePpV59)

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