Difference between revisions of "Mesh/15 May 2018"

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* then please cut & paste a blank template from here: https://sudoroom.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Mesh/Mesh_Meeting_Notes_Template&action=edit
* then please cut & paste a blank template from here: https://sudoroom.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Mesh/Mesh_Meeting_Notes_Template&action=edit
* previous meeting notes are archived here: https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Mesh/Minutes
* previous meeting notes are archived here: https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Mesh/Minutes
== Special meeting on how the firmware works and how to proceed - May 15th 2018 ==
== Special meeting on how the firmware works and how to proceed - May 15th 2018 ==

Latest revision as of 11:34, 17 May 2018

People's Open Network Weekly Meeting - 15 May 2018 7:30pm-9pm


  • Introductions and Meeting Roles (10 mins)
  • Check in on previous action items (5 mins)
  • Updates & Reportbacks (20 mins)
  • Next Sunday (5 mins)
  • Proposal X: (15 mins)
  • Discussion/Brainstorm: Short educational videos(15 mins)
  • Discussion/Brainstorm: Storquest(15 mins)
  • Action Items (5 mins)
  • Breakout Groups
  • Notes from special meeting on how the firmware works and how to proceed


Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Icebreaker Response; BRIEF Announcements

  • Icebreaker question: Favorite snack
  • jenny - she/her, nachos
  • ben - he/they, coffee, made progress with Bengo (honestly mostly Bengo) on CI on several repos, tagged releases with help of bengo. See https://github.com/sudomesh/bugs/issues/34
  • benny - he/him, seasme sticks, teaching a summer class for highschool students for web programming, through mission bit, could be a good group to work with in the future if we want to work with students. would like to do interviews with mesh folks and put them on the blog. humanize the people working on mesh and what their motivations are
  • robb - cheese and crackers. I'd be down help with video interviews!
  • bengo - whatever's leftover in frig, vegetables, otherwise coffee, bug 34, having some form of cosistency so we catch mistakes before they go into deployment.
  • sierk - he/him/they - goulash croquettes
  • martin - fruit, zambians. loquats!!! they only seem to grow in other people's yards
  • lesley - really doesn't have a preferred pronoun, she/they, really likes pizza, but no grains, trader joes briquettes, made of nothing but cheese
  • grant - he/him/they/them - fruit esp apples & pb
    • update: zeroconf is working to some degree! Merged into main. Next time we build, it might actually be in the release.
  • marc - papadum
  • mai - at burbank airport, chocolate coconunt ice cream, moochi balls! remind people about BBQ, start a list of things to bring, anybody have contact with Doug
    • talked to people at Storquest, go between Storquest ask for AJ will give a tour of the roof, going to go on Thursay or Friday afternoon.
    • ben - I reached out to Doug about BBQ :)

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Grant
  • Stacktaker: Benny
  • Timekeeper:
  • Notetaker/s: jenny/grant/ben/benny
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):

Check in on previous action items

Check previous meeting minutes at https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Mesh/Minutes and past action items below:

  • Schedule meeting with Paxio to check out LOS to their building (mai)
  • Create draft of values doc for iteration - by May 22 (mai)
  • Contact Storquest re: mounting antenna on their building (mai)
    • (heard back; see announcements and discussion item)
  • Follow up with Traci from Brignole & Ghiri (jenny) - didnot, has an insurance block, will try again this week, tomorrow
  • Set up patent alerts (juul) - yeah, realized the system is simple, couldn't only send to a single email, grant will look at setting up a PON email for this
  • Send announce re: board mtg (jenny) - sent announcement for May 22nd, nominated people who have been arround. we can have a board of up to 19 directors (according to our bylaws)
  • Follow up Reed Brothers (ben) - lesley will follow up
    • Visited this afternoon, but Mr. Reed was out. Person I spoke with advised us to send someone just after lunch tomorrow (Wednesday.)

Updates & Reportbacks


Priority bugs we need help with are located at: http://peoplesopen.net/helpwanted - For a high-level overview of recent Github activity, see the Trello: https://trello.com/invite/b/r9l5ouQ4/3b2eecd83bb9e7a57a339cf1ee038288/sudo-mesh-github-repos

  • ben: grant had a workshop pre-this meeting about the nullconf firmware--proposing having a dev meeting group twice a month (on the non-accounting group tuesdays). meet at 5-ish to tackle help wanted list or to share more knowledge, get more people involved
  • mai: great idea to carve out regular meeting times to discuss more specific aspects of the project
  • lesley: do we want to go back to having 1 meeting a month and 3 hacknights a month?
  • sierk: another alternative is to have 1 meeting and 3 workinggroup meetings a month
  • grant: I like having a different meeting time per topic so people dont accidentally show up for the wrong meeting
  • lesley: for it to work, could use someone to take the role of welcoming new people / getting them preliminary up to speed
  • ben: often have an action item that persists for a few weeks (eg getting in touch with people/sites), but plenty to organize week-to-week
  • benny: I think it's important to be able to try new ways of organizing; otherwise we'll never be able ot know if we'll like something better than what we're doing.
    • Can we try, one or two Tuesdays a month, a meeting facilitating a different kind of approach?
  • Lesley: We did that with the values meeting.
  • Grant: We're doing something similar by specifying different times for different things.
  • mai: time to experiment with meetings sounds great--also seems good to reflect on how things are going at monthly/bimonthly intervals
    • I've been wanting to propose having open work times - time for people to meet at Omni or Arbor, to make things more fun than hacking from your bed.
  • lesley: wanted to point out--ideally we wouldn't have a culture where we have a dev team--someone might disagree--as someone who's interested in technical aspects of the project, but doesn't know how full time i want to program--i've noticed that women and people of color feel the need to give a disclaimer that it's "not what they do". perspective from someone who's interested in code but hasn't contributed a bunch.
    • jenny - it used to be the case that the hack nights on thursday created a culture of exclusion. that's why i like mai's idea to just hold open (and accessible) informal work sessions
      • lesley - ya i would really like it to be more "mainstream" for people to feel comfortable showing up at software working groups
  • ben - what grant did today seems like a good example--took the time to explain to people who were interested about the project he was working on
  • grant: make it less about a 'dev team' and more about creating a more accessible entry point to the technical aspects of the project
  • sierk: seems like this relates to our principles/values. the discussion that happened earlier about zeroconf where there's learning but also sharing, also applies to other things like accounting, where you have to be around them for a while before they start to make sense
  • martin: talk about this last time, making it a lot more obvious for peoples who are new - issues or bugs that make a good jumping-off point. externally this project seems huge, kind of a mess
  • ben: this is i think a really good conversation and people are saying great things, but gotta move on
  • next steps: make some concrete meetings proposals, make one meeting a month an experiment in form

Node Mounts & Outreach

Node Mounts Trello: https://trello.com/invite/b/DtzngKaM/49e1c21fc9da199fcdeceb8623b5117a/node-mounts

  • max: solar powered nodes in a chicken coop, made wiring diagram, got good feedback on it. going to use the picostations in the storage. will be working on it on thursdays at the javascript meetups.

Communications & Events

Comms Trello: https://trello.com/invite/b/f3ugMPNU/94033ee6c2cef93fc1b1637b727c902a/sudo-mesh-communications // Events Trello: https://trello.com/invite/b/Y3XfDK85/2b6fcb4fa92788609692a53a96fb4614/peoples-open-events

Internal Logistics / Finance

Internal Logistics & Bureaucracy Trello: https://trello.com/invite/b/LzVQlW3X/1bb8bd543c8633688175365d2554c2c2/internal-logistics-bureaucracy-brainstorms

  • Purchased 2 Nanostation M5s (which arrived today) and surge protectors for the AirFibers. Will purchase a few more tonight (they took just
  • Purchase request / reimburse form at https://peoplesopen.net/budgetrequest (or

Next Sunday

Node Mount

We try to arrange a rooftop node mount every Sunday afternoon. Ongoing spreadsheet is located at: https://peoplesopen.net/sundays

  • Next Sunday's mount: BBQ! Do we provide wifi at the BBQ? jk jk jk

Office Hours

We host office hours every Sunday from 1-2pm in Sudo Room. To sign up for a shift, fill in your name here: https://ethercalc.org/byoi_office_hours

  • Next Sunday's volunteer: BBQ 🌭🍔🍻🤸‍♀️🌲
  • Notes from this past Sunday's session:

Discussion/Brainstorm: Short Educational Videos

  • via jnny: It'd be rad to do a series of short educational videos, perhaps organized around common questions people have about the mesh (eg; "how secure is the network?" "what are the pros and cons of the network?" ""how does the firmware work?" "how can i replicate in my community?"). Jenny and Robb can do filming and editing. Timeline: Now - mid-June if we want to have something to show for the Moz grant
  • lesley: great idea! good way to get people on board too.
  • mai: we should also have a text version of this on our website (we can just use the script that we write for the video?)
  • jenny: FAQ videos, people reading e-mails of questions
  • safety training instructional video!!

Discussion/Brainstorm: Storquest

  • what do we want to do on top of Storquest. how do we pay for it, power it, etc. can we build a structure
    • ben - we were discussing visiting Thursday/Friday. What we want on top might depend on what we can access.
      • If we can access a riser closet and/or there's no power on roof, we probably won't want a rooftop box.
      • If we can't access a riser and/or there's power at roof, a box might be the easiest way to go.
      • Regardless, we at least want a 24GHz airfiber pointed at Paxio, and either a 5GHz AirFiber or a wireless wire pointed at Omni. +1
      • Even better: add a node or two for the neighborhood to link to in addition to that.
    • grant- what about mulitpl sector antennas, P2MP, that a lot of people can point at?
      • ben - Yeah, I was thinking nanostations for my "even better," but that's even better than even better and we should shoot for the stars IMO. We support Rocket M5s right?
      • grant - ???? maybe
      • Well, we have em in the cage :D
  • mai - prefer to visit Thursday afternoon or Friday morning
  • grant - so, how do we figure out what we're getting / how we're paying?
  • mai - I think we should just go and see if what we can get is something we even want, before worrying about the cost.
  • lesley - what happened w/ reed brothers
    • jehan - they were down with the concept--a little flaky, but they respond if you keep messaging; if you go in during business hours, i think the owners work there

Discussion/Brainstorm: Mozilla WINS Grant Round II

Action Items

  • make list of things people are bringing to BBQ (mai)
  • reach out to doug re: BBQ (ben)
  • get LOLspace notes from devi (jenny)
  • figure out a time (soon) to work on Mozilla pt. 2 (doodle) (jenny)
  • Set up patent alerts (juul) - set up a PON email for patent alerts (grant)
  • get in touch w/ people who want to be interviewed (benny)
  • finish off post-mount e-mail template (benny)

Breakout Groups

At the end of the meeting, break out into small groups to hack on or discuss specific topics.

  • avenue ^_^

Last Meeting Notes

  • link to previous meeting minutes

End of Meeting

Special meeting on how the firmware works and how to proceed - May 15th 2018

  • Where are the builds? =

Current stable is always linked from here: https://github.com/sudomesh/sudowrt-firmware/ Current dev build (not fully working): http://builds.sudomesh.org/dev-builds/dispossessed/0.3.0/ See PR: https://github.com/sudomesh/sudowrt-firmware/pull/132

To Do

Things to fix for nullconf build (previously zeroconf)

The new home node build doesn't do hardware detection. I just assumes it's an n600.

  • Add hardware detection
  • Start /etc/init.d/meshrouting on boot (it's currently not starting)
  • Automated nightly builds?

Where do we stand with ubiquiti 802.11ac gear?

  • Does it even have good openwrt support?
  • With AirOS do they support ad-hoc mode? (doesn't matter unless we can put babeld on them)
  • The /etc/init.d/meshrouting script on the home nodes should be re-written to use a `uci` `/etc/config/sudomesh` file.

We should make it easy to get on the mesh with any debian-based system A small script to install and configure the dependencies and get an IP from the secrets server?

How configuration works

Currently there are two directories in the sudowrt tree:

  • `files/`
  • `files_extender-node/`

The files in `/files` and `/files_extender-node` overwrite any files from the openwrt base system and openwrt packages. They are copied on top of the system as the very last step before bundling everything into the image file.

Grant says we can target specific models so instead of doing hardware detection we can just have one of these directories for each model. He thinks we should improve the build system in this way instead of adding hardware auto-detection on first boot.

These are in turn potentially over-written by the zeroconf templates (described in the next section) which is the very last configuration step.

how nullconf (previously zeroconf) works

- `cron` checks for internet by pinging google every minute using `/opt/mesh/retrieve_ip`. - If it detects internet the `retrieve_ip` script does an `HTTPS GET` request with `curl` which returns JSON including an IP subnet. - retrieve_ip script then removes the cron job and deletes itself and calls `/opt/mesh/zeroconf` with the subnet - /opt/mesh/zeroconf copies files from /files/opt/mesh/templates/etc and /files/opt/mesh/templates/opt to /etc and /opt, overwriting anything that was there before

In the template files you'll see hold-overs from `makenode` where some configs have e.g. `<% variable %>`. These used to be replaced by their appropriate values by makenode search-and-replacing them before copying them over to the node. Now the files are copied into `/etc/config/` as they are, including these unusable values, and then the values are replaced by the `/opt/mesh/zeroconf` script running `uci set` commands (`uci set` is a built-in openwrt command used to modify the files in `/etc/config/`).

Can we switch to IPv6 to get rid of the secrets server?

  • Maybe? We could set up 464LAT and give every home node the same IPv4 range. Then the nodes would translate from IPv4 to IPv6 and the exit node would NAT between IPv6 and IPv4 using NAT64. The software to do this is: