Cleaning up the fonosfera

This is my first post here, I’m Matthijs Kooijman and I’ve been doing some work for Fon in the last few weeks. Fon has a very cool community surrounding their Fonera firmware, but it hasn’t been investing nearly enough time in communicating with this community recently. There is a lot of useful feedback that hasn’t received the attention it deserves. My (part-time) work is now to get the fonosfera, the Fon community, back on track. Let’s look at a few things I’ve done or am still doing.

There were a lot of comments on this blog that needed to be moderated. Partly because everybody was busy and partly because there wasn’t a single person responsible for comment moderation, this list had accumulated to nearly 300 comments. In the last few days, I’ve gone through the list, deleting half of the comments since they were autogenerated spam and approving the other ones. Just for the record, every real comment has been approved, with the exception of a handful of comments that were plainly offensive and contained swearing. You might have gotten the impression recently that we didn’t publish criticizing comments, but we just haven’t been publishing any comments… We might become a bit more strict in our moderation, though, more about that soon. For now, please keep to on-topic comments, and use the proper channels (forums, IRC, trac) for other things you want to share.

There’s also the trac, which is full of tickets. Some of these address very real bugs, a lot more suggest very useful features, but there is also a lot of duplication and some (spam) polution in there. To turn the trac into a useful development tool again, I’ve started reviewing tickets. The first goal is to filter out duplicate issues, remove useless tickets (that need more information but have not contact information, or that are really configuration problems instead of real bugs), sort the issues into different components, firmware versions, etc. and sometimes even try to confirm the bug or even fix it. So far, I’ve looked at over 150 tickets and there’s still over 250 to go.

To improve the quality of (new) tickets, we’ve also cleaned up the ticket metadata a bit. There is now a hardware field to choose either 2.0n or 2.0g, the list of versions and components is more complete and some useless fields have been removed or hidden from anonymous users.

We have also enabled anonymous commenting for tickets. If you report a problem, you can now supply additional information, or answer our questions in a comment. To improve communication, we have also enabled email notifications of tickets: You will now get notified about all changes and comments to tickets you’ve reported (but only if you filled in your email address in the reporter field). So, if you’ve created a ticket in the past and didn’t fill in your email address, feel free to leave your address in a comment so we can contact you with questions and updates. Note that trac will not make your address public, even when it’s a comment.

This option for feedback on the trac has already payed off: A lot of bug reporters have been supplying extra information and we even managed to nail a few bugs because of that. Thanks for that, reporters!

Finally, I’ve also been doing some early testing with the most recent firmware on 2.0g hardware. There has been a focus on getting 2.0n stable in the last few firmware releases, but now it is really time to get 2.0g up to speed again. I hope to have the next release support 2.0g again (though there might be one more bugfix release for 2.0n first, to fix some import bugs, more about that soon). Note that the next 2.0g release will probably not have bridge mode yet, due to different hardware capabilities…).

15 Responses to “Cleaning up the fonosfera”

  1. giuseppeg88 Says:

    Welcome Matthijs! In these days I’ve already contacted you in the irc channel for some problems… Congratulations! You’re doing a great job! continues in this way … This is necessary: to have a point of contact between Fon and us users is important if we don’t want to lose the community Fonosfera…

  2. aid85 Says:

    I want to know how to login to new fon forum !!!

    I go to the new forum here: http://forum.fon.com

    I try to login with my old ID and PASS but it say there is no such user…
    I try to register myself on the new forum with old ID\mail\PASS but it say me that there is already a user with this mail.
    So I think that I entered the wrong password and ask for resend password via mail but it say me that there is no registered user with the mail I submit.

    Is it a joke?

    This is not funny…

    I try to resend activation mail…. seems that this work but after 4 day and two tentative I ve not received nothing in my e-mail !!!!

    Why move the forum? What’s wrong with the old one ?
    Too many unresolved bug to hide?

    :-(

    aid85 from http://boards.fon.com/ (locked)

  3. Eddie303 Says:

    I hope you manage to release a usable firmware for the 2.0g, because the community feels itself left off in the desert. I personally have managed to get the courage to switch to OpenWRT Backfire, and seeing how usable it is, I say, that I will never come back for a Fon firmware, nor a Fon router, unless it’s very very cheap. I can live with the lack of the power LED functionality :)

  4. HereIsTom Says:

    Welcome Matthijs from Holland ;-)
    And thanks for the good work!
    I also hope there Will be a firmware update for the 2.0n to fix the Family&Friends.
    Finally got the Wi-Fi working, but lost the Family&Friends.

  5. T031 Says:

    Pleased to hear that you are in charge now Matthijs. I dearly hope you can clean this mess up. Believe me when I say in the name of all users, that you will have all our support.
    People got angry because they didn’t recieve any sign, I guess from now on this will become more civilized.
    Big up

  6. Jack0 Says:

    i am interested in openwrt. but i can`t find a goog documentation.
    What is the advantage for fon2n or fon2g?

  7. Wolf Says:

    Welcome Matthijs (from a fellow Dutchman)! It’s good to see that Fon’s investing in someone to take care of the dirty work (at first)! I wish you all the luck, and hope to see some exciting developments appear in time.

  8. Paolo Says:

    I’m happy that there will be an update to the 2.0g Fonera … I’m sorry that it will not have the function bridge. I think it’s very useful to have this function in an access point: is there the possibility that you implement this feature in a later firmware? (I hope much yes ;-))

  9. aid85 Says:

    Eddie303 — quote — +1

    Jack0: Fonera 2.0n is a usefull hardware with a developing firmware… until some day a new hardware will be sell by fonera and fonera2.0n firmaware developement will be abbandon…
    Fonera 2.0g is a usefull hardvare with no more firmware development

    they say every yar that a new stable firmware will be released soon… soon… soon…

    we are waiting

    This developing team speak as an Italian politics… soon soon soon soon promise promise promise

  10. joen Says:

    Hi Matthijs, i am glad someone is finally going to straighten things up. I am looking forward to a 2.0g release, so i will feel a little less shortchanged.

  11. Eddie303 Says:

    Jack0:
    OpenWRT is the Linux distribution on which Fon firmware is based. The advantage? Let’s see, if you can live without the community stuff (facebook, picasa uploaders and stuff) on your router, you get an impressive amount of software to choose from, not just what Fon wants you to have. I already put the root filesystem on an external hard drive, from there I am able to run a simple webserver and ftp, the possibilities are very interesting. Print server function is working as well, that was one of the features I think I used most on the USB port.
    If you go to OpenWRT’s homepage, http://oldwiki.openwrt.org/OpenWrtDocs%282f%29Hardware%282f%29Fon%282f%29Fonera2.html
    you can see the installation howto. Even better, you can use the Gargoyle FonFlash utility available here: http://www.gargoyle-router.com/download.php
    But beware: Only start doing this if you read everything three times, and you really know, what you’re doing!

  12. Jack0 Says:

    @aid85:
    I know they stopped the development for the 2g and the 2n will stop soon.
    Thats why i wanted to know the advantage of openwrt. i there a rapidshare downloader? is there a musicserver?

  13. Matthijs Says:

    Thanks for your comments, I’ll do my best to live up to the expectations :-)

    As for logging in to the forums, have you seen this post? http://forum.fon.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10 It suggests that the login is shared with the wiki, perhaps you already have a wiki account? If you still can’t make it work, please contact FON support at https://www.fon.com/en/support/contactUs

    As for comparing the Fonera firmware with OpenWRT, that’s a bit off-topic for this post. Eddie is giving a decent summary, but please use http:/forum.fon.com for further discussion.

    As for development on 2.0g being discontinued, have you even read the post I wrote? I can understand if you’re a bit sceptical about our promises and think “I’ll know it when I see it”, but don’t pretend you know something you don’t.

  14. Josemi Says:

    Any stimated release date?

    Greetings.

  15. Matthijs Says:

    Nope, not yet…

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