Communication

The only way to cooperate is via communication. The OpenWrt-Project make ample use of all the communication software that is available:

  • Homepage ⇒ for announcements
  • This Wiki ⇒ if you want to work with other people on one particular topic and improve this over time
  • The Forum ⇒ use this if you want to display different opinions and pursuit a discussion over time
  • E-Mail ⇒ you have to subscribe to get Mails
  • Mumble (software) ⇒ use this if you want to actually talk to the people (you could meet on one of the free mumble servers set up an own with umurmur)
  • Internet Relay Chat ⇒ use for quick questions and short statements: irc.freenode.net, #openwrt
  • Developer ⇒ for submitting a bug report
  • Paste ⇒ to share code snippets

Instant messaging

Use for quick questions and short statements: irc.freenode.net, #openwrt

Asking questions on IRC

Never used IRC before

  • Be patient. Just because you see a list of people in the IRC channel doesn't mean anyone is paying any attention or actually in front of his PC. It's very common to just leave IRC constantly connected, even when away from the computer, so it may take several minutes or even hours before anyone notices or acknowledges your existence.
  • IRC is for real time communication. Imagine you are talking to a person and the dude need 2 minutes to reply after asking him something. Or imagine you cannot understand him, and need to ask him every time to repeat. Frustrating. You should be able to type comprehensible English language fast enough, so that a real time communication can take place. If you cannot type that fast, there is no point in using IRC. Use the Forum instead ;-)

Efficiency

  • The Chat takes place in real time, so you should be reasonably responsive when replying, if you've just said something in the last few seconds we will assume that you're paying attention to IRC and that if we ask you a question we shouldn't need to wait several minutes for a response. We will often get frustrated or distracted if your responses take too long. If you are a slow typer, try typing your responses as multiple lines so we can read along as you type.
  • Do not use SMS (or "AOL") shorthand. You have a full keyboard, you should be able to type reasonably coherent messages. We shouldn't need a magic decoder ring to decipher your message.

Generic Guideline to ask Questions

  • Do not ask "meta questions", like "Can I ask a question?" or "Is anyone here?", aside from the logical paradoxes these questions are uninteresting, provide no information and don't advance the conversation in any meaningful way. You'll probably get an amusingly mocking answer, if any.
  • The way you ask a question will dictate how likely it is you get a response. We love interesting problems and people who seem genuinely interested in understanding how things work, and will often spend a significant amount of time trying to help with those problems. In contrast, if you sound like someone who's angry that it's broken, wants nothing to do with the problem and just wants someone else to fix it, you will probably be ignored or asked to leave. OpenWrt is free software and comes with no warranty, there is no implicit reason that anyone has to help you.
  • Try to be clear and concise with your questions; don't flood us with pages of information we need to sort through just to understand your question, and don't be so vague that you need to be asked several more questions just to determine exactly what the problem is. Whenever possible you should simplify the problem into something that we can easily reproduce to demonstrate the issue. If we need to ask too many questions to understand the problem we will probably stop trying to help.
  • Ask your question in a way that dictates the answer; if you ask a question that can be answered with a "yes" or a "no" that's probably what you'll get. Try to avoid asking a yes or no question if you don't want a yes or no answer. Short answers are not intended as hostility, just as a means of moving the conversation along so we can get to the next problem. If you don't get an answer or don't get the type of answer you want, try asking a different question.
  • Don't assume to know the solution and then ask how to do it. Describe the problem first so it becomes clear why. You won't get much respect if we spend an hour trying to help you with your solution only to find out that you don't understand the problem and the solution didn't fix anything.
  • We aren't going to sit around holding your hand; the answers you get will probably be incomplete but will point you in the right direction. Try to fill in the blanks yourself as much as possible.

Staying on topic

While we're happy to chat and discuss current trends, you need to know when to move the discussion elsewhere. If you're told that a subject is off topic, please respect us and don't continue discussing it in the channel.

We will not answer questions about other firmwares. If you're looking for support, make sure the question relates to a recent version of OpenWrt.

Do not wait until after the question has been answered to say "This isn't OpenWrt"; you will be kicked and probably banned if you do that.

Submitting bug reports

IRC is NOT a bug reporting tool. Do not expect us to fix anything simply because it was barely mentioned on IRC. Use the proper tools.

You can view the current bugs and report new bugs via the ticket system on https://dev.openwrt.org/

General IRC etiquette

  • Don't flood the channel. Flooding is the act of posting multiple lines at once, often the result of someone cutting and pasting a config file or error message into the channel. Aside from being distracting, these can cause more important messages to be pushed off the screen or otherwise lost in the flurry of activity. Instead of pasting to the channel you should use a service known as a pastebin to store the content; a pastebin website will have a large text box for you to paste your information and will give you a URL that displays that information. Use these URLs instead of dumping the content directly to the channel.
  • Don't use long URLs. Many websites now use dynamically generated pages and as a result have incomprehensible and extremely long URLs to link to the page, making it difficult for IRC users to copy the URL back into their browser. Some of the longer URLs may even be considered flooding. You can avoid this by using tinyurl, a free service which will take your URL and produce a much shorter URL linking to it.
  • Avoid markup. While some IRC clients let you type in a variety of colors and formatting options, not all IRC clients will display the message in the intended way, often resulting in unreadable messages – sometimes even if the message is displayed as intended. Disable any plugins which change the formatting of your message.
  • Don't fill the channel with idle noise. Noise is anything that produces output without adding anything meaningful. The IRC client will display messages when people join or leave the channel, and change their nickname. Some IRC clients will even automatically produce an "away message" to indicate that you've left the computer. It's alright to excuse yourself in the middle of a conversation, but if you haven't said anything in the past hour we probably won't notice or don't care if you're around or not.

Related links

Back to top

meta/communication.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/26 16:43 by scruffy