[isf-wifidog] A picture of how far the wifidog project has advanced in the last two years

Benoit Grégoire benoitg at coeus.ca
Mer 2 Avr 01:20:29 EDT 2008

We often talk about unsung heroes;  individuals who toil quietly, content to 
leave all the glory to the group or endeavour that they embraced.  But 
sometimes, even the endeavour itself can be unsung and taken for granted.

Two recent events made me realize how little known the efforts (or even the 
existence) of the multitude of wifidog contributors have become, even to some 
people right at the heart of the wireless community movement!  Some had even 
built the perception that progress of the wifidog project as a whole slowed 
after Île sans fil (around march 2006) stopped maintaining it two years ago.  

Those who know me in person know how much of a loud mouth I can be.  But I 
also have a very low key working style.  I do stuff and don't brag about it 
when I complete a task.  Quite frankly, I don't like braggers, and I am 
always afraid of being branded as one.  Unfortunately, it seems I have 
imprinted this style on the wifidog project, and that's not a good thing!

Today's Internet is a world of appearances, black and white opinions based on 
first impressions, soundbytes and short attention spans.  So in this world 
demonstrating how lively the wifidog project really is just plain requires 
bragging, soundbites and thanking every contributor individually (if 

So here it goes.  All that follows occured ONLY in the last two years:

* 151 bug reports and feature requests were closed with status fixed!

* 34 new organisations have listed themselves on as using wifidog, bringing 
the total from 15 to 49

* 17 individuals deserve our thanks for making code contributions:
-Max Horvath (max)
-François Proulx (fproulx)
-Benoit Grégoire (benoitg)
-Rob Janes
-Dana Spiegel (dana)
-Lokkju Brennr (lokkju)
-Damien Raude-Morvan (drazzib)
-David Bird (david)
-Philippe April (papril)
-Alexandre Carmel Veilleux (acv)
-David Young
As it has been demonstrated over and over, in a software project with a full 
lifecycle (including Open source) the majority of the required effort is not 
coding!  And indeed we have quite a few more people to thank, whithout whom 
the wifidog community as we know it simply couldn't exist:

* 13 translators maintained translations and brought the number of supported 
languages from 3 to 10!
-Frederic Sheedy, French
-François Proulx, French
-Benoit Grégoire, French
-Frederic Sheedy, Franch
-MiguelCMA, Portugese
-Nikola Petrov (nvp_online), Bulgarian, Greek
-Gabriel Hahmann, Brazilian Portuguese
-Ricardo Jose Guevara Ochoa, Spanish
-Max Horvath, German
-leandro at texnet.it, Italian
-florida, Italian
-taedu AT ninjin-net DOT net, Japanese
-Christian Svensson, Swedish

* 51 Wiki editors (there are also many anonymous editors) improved our 
documentation, our picture of our own community and humm ... our spelling.
-Robin Jones
-Benoit Grégoire
-Alexandre Carmel Veilleux
-Philippe April
-Shyju Kanaprath
-Andrew Hodel
-Paul Scollon
-Joe Bowser
-Mark Stephens
-Michael Lenczner
-Gilbert Fafard
-Pascal Leclerc
-Gabriel Hahmann
-Max Horvath
-Pascal Charest
-Gabe Shawney
-Caleb Phillips
-Damien Raude-Morvan
-Pascal Rullier
-Mathias Houngbo
-François Proulx

* All the people who took the time to open tickets and report bugs or suggest 
features in the first place.

* Thanks to everyone hanging on IRC.  At any given time there's about 10 
individuals in the channel, which has become the primary way we help new 
users and developers.

* Thanks to all the people answering questions on the mailing list, not to 
mention the 234 people who care enough about wifidog to stay subscribed and 
let us fill their mailbox on a regular basis.

* Thanks to Île sans fil for providing Servers and bandwidth

* Finally, thanks to the following organisations who made financial 
contributions (that I know of) to the development of wifidog:
-Obx Labs
-Less Networks
-ZAP Sheerbrooke
-Max Spot GBH

All of you in the last two years decided to go beyond merely using the work of 
others or fixing your immediate problem and have taken the time to give back, 
so others can in turn build upon your contributions.  It takes years to build 
a viable Open source development community around a project.  It's especially 
challenging in a very small niche like captive portals, where most of the 
work is not visible to the end users.  But we have certainly have come a very 
long way!

There are great opportunities ahead for the community wireless movement, now 
that the storm of Muni wireless (at least as a threath to community groups) 
has blown over.  There are also great challenges, from increasingly hostile 
legal environments, changes to the economic environment of procuring Internet 
bandwidth to the increasing variety of mobile devices.  Also, wifidog is used 
more and more by private corporations.  

Finding good and lasting technical solutions to such real world problems, and 
implementing them using such a diversity of priorities and interest will 
continue to require a great deal of foresight and diplomacy.

But we are not alone, and if we work together, it's not even that hard ;)
Keep up the good work, and give yourselves a pat in the back, you deserve it.  
There is no contribution too small, if only to remind the other contributors 
that they are not alone.
Benoit Grégoire
Technologies Coeus inc.

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