Tomato Wikibooks documentation reorg

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by wrlee, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. wrlee

    wrlee Addicted to LI Member

    Okay, so I am going about this all backwards (from a "community" standpoint).

    I got tired of looking an the hodge-podge, single long page of the Tomato documentation at So, I've unilaterally started reorganizing it. No one's objected, so far, but I should have posted here, first, to see what the consensus is.

    I've made some comments in the "Discussion" tab of the main page. Let me know, there or here, whether I am headed in the right direction. And, of course, I'd be happy for anyone else to jump in and help. :)

    Here is a rough summary of what I am trying to achieve:
    • Easier readability through
      • Better organization
      • Better presentation (look)
    • Consistency of formatting through-out
    • Add more prose, where helpful—especially to a broad spectrum of potential users.
    • Update content with (at least 1.25 Tomato)
    • More easily maintainable book structure, that would allow other contributors a framework to modify and augment this content.
    • Migrate to wikibook-compliant layout and features (as I learn them).
    • Make the book more "book-like".
    • Include more info on Tomato variations, configuration tips and recipes.
    • Move content from Wikipedia on this topic with references, to encourage people to update this book rather than Wikipedia.
  2. jan.n

    jan.n LI Guru Member

    Quite a good idea!
  3. Incidentflux

    Incidentflux LI Guru Member

    We need to include a feature comparison table of the various distributions (mods), to add value like the Wikipedia page has for DD-WRT versions.
  4. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    Well, updated the details for my mod. I hope now this thread could be stacked in order to offer this info for the visitor, if not, another waste of time... and, sorry, this is not a reorganization, is something you did and obliged to be updated by the mod author for a better accuracy, so, it's a weak favour and additional job for me... you posted Tomato RAF 1.21 ....Thank you.
  5. pharma

    pharma Network Guru Member

    I think you forgot to include the Official Tomato firmware (Jon's firmware) at the top of the list. It's important since all Tomato Mod's use Jon's firmware updates as the base, then add their modifications.

    They should also be listed in alphabetical order not to show any bias. (except the Official version).

    My 2 cents! :wink:
  6. gawd0wns

    gawd0wns Network Guru Member

    I commend your actions. One of the biggest challenges to most open-source software projects, in my opinion, is a complete lack of/ or poorly written documentation. Better documentation can put software in the reach of average users by providing guidance, and explaining what the software actually does.

    Centralizing the documentation will definitely make decision making and learning a whole lot easier. I'll definitely add in a few things when I have time.
  7. jan.n

    jan.n LI Guru Member

    wrlee, are you going to put all this stuff in a TABLE, or is it supposed to stay as it is? In a table the mods would be easier to compare...
  8. thor2002ro

    thor2002ro Addicted to LI Member

    on the page it says Linksys WRT54GL 8mb ram , when its in fact 16mb both 1.0 and 1.1
  9. wrlee

    wrlee Addicted to LI Member

    Hi Victek,
    I had quite a lot of difficulty understanding your post. I sensed that there is an important opinion that you were trying to express (to me?), but I had difficulty understanding what that was.

    My first pass at including the alternate mods was primarily to copy the info from the referenced postings, here in the forums. It is my hope that most people would eventually use the wikibook than to have to be familiar with this forum community, just to get started.

    Thank you, all, who updated the various sections.
  10. wrlee

    wrlee Addicted to LI Member

    I assumed that the "Features" section described the base-level Tomato features and didn't consider it a "mod". I'm sure additional prose would help to highlight that. That'll come on a subsequent pass.

    Was there something else you had in mind?
  11. wrlee

    wrlee Addicted to LI Member

    Yours is the 2nd request for this, so I suppose it should be a "high-priority" item :). I did mention that I do intend more use of tables, but I had not planned exactly what those tables would be. I am not really an expert in Tomato, so I am not sure that I would be able to accurately put the table together, but I can certainly start it and let others updated it.

    The short answer, then, is "yes" :)
  12. wrlee

    wrlee Addicted to LI Member

    It looks like someone's corrected that already (thank you).
  13. wrlee

    wrlee Addicted to LI Member

    I've added a comparison table of mods... Feel free to add columns (or let me know what columns should be added) or fill in answers.
  14. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    Was a simply message, any update in this post should be know by everybody entering in this forum, since the post is not fixed then will be lost as many interesting post.
  15. Rossi

    Rossi Addicted to LI Member

    Unfortunately, wrlee, I am not too fond of some of your recent changes.

    - To find out more information about some distribution, one must now go to the "latest version" lines, (which, incidentally were added by me), then one jumps to the "footnotes" lines, from where one jumps to the distribution announcement, somewhere here on this forum.

    I feel nothing is added by this double jump. It used to be such that on that page the bolded "Foo Distribution" header line itself was a link to the relevant posting/site. I think that was much more logical.

    - Another thing is that now you have arranged the distributions by alphabet. I don't think this is an improvement either. In fact, I think this to be too much of a cleaning up process. That is, "cleaning up" for the sake of cleaning up.

    Now it appears as of all distributions are born equeal, and hence, the maintainer, being overwhelmed, puts them in alphabetical order. Let the enduser sort it out. Like for example is being done with Linux distributions.

    But these Tomato modifications are very different in scope, consistency and usage. We KNOW that, we should put this information indirecty in the wikibook.

    For example, the Vicktek mod is consistenly recompiled when new versions of Tomato come out, it is widely used and discussed, and several other distributions build upon the Vicktek mod. Clearly Vicktek should be mentioned first. The teddy_bear, thor and sgt_pepper mods are also widely discussed (see the respective thread sizes on this forum).
    On the other hand, the roadkill and jyavenard mod appear relatively old (built on older versions of Tomato), were maybe just a one-off, and do not appear to have overly much life in them. The Neorouter mod (go to the website) does no longer even _appear_ to be built upon Tomato or even mention tomato on the entire website. (though you can download something from the neorouter site, it is not even clear to me what that is).

    So I say, forget about the alphabetical ordering, put the most important ones at the top (because THAT is what I want to see when I am searching for tomato modifications), and the less important ones at the bottom, with the nearly obsolete ones (NeoRouter) at the very bottom. That way information is transferred to the end-reader.
    Yes, I know, when you organise things like that, you lose strict ordering. There is no guideline telling you if numbers four and five should be switched. But I and I presume most other readers don't care about that. They want to see the best, most popular and most active maintained modifications at the top. And not in an alphabetical way which loses all that information in order to gain some "impartial" ordening.

    And lastly, I am not too big a fan of tables in situations like this, because tables tent to grow wider and wider, becoming wider than your screen listing more and more half-interesting fact and thingies, making horizontal scroll neccessary, which is very awkward.
    I was about to point at as the bad example of a table grown beyond control, but they've changed, though you can still see what I mean, if you first select "select most popular 25", and then check them all 25 by hand. Anyway, what I mean is: a table should not be to big. That makes it unwieldy and unpleasant to work with. The current table is pretty OK though. Just don't go overboard with the colums.

    Yes, this is my first post here. Just made an account so I could comment.
  16. Victek

    Victek Network Guru Member

    wrlee, it's already finished? Realy, I prefer the previous schema of Tomato wiki (see the example in spanish) . Could you be so kind to restore what you erased from the former english Tomato Wiki at least?

    The present documentation don't talk anything about Tomato features for newbies and it's assumed a previous knowledge of Tomato and terms unknown for the average user. Explanation of features, compatibility, configuration or user manual (the main target and reference for beginner) is what one person will expect to read in the first 2 minutes to know if his router will work and what are the added features over the stock firmware he/she is using.

    I don't care if you talk about the mod version (just as a reference as we did in the previous wiki), just redirect the user to related forum for support and more information.

    I'm very sad for the lack of focus in this article, the framework shows everything except Tomato (for a person visiting or searching first time information about this firmware).
  17. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    The German, Polish, Spanish wikis show newcomers quickly what the firmware is and how to use it. Now the English version is mostly hidden, what you see is a list of mostly obsolete mods and some tables. The mods, while important, are not what the wiki should focus on. I have had several people PM to ask what's happened to the old information, it's mostly still there but it's largely hidden from sight.

    I think that it's messy, needs a little more thought putting into why people visit the wiki, and why it was purposely kept short and to the point by the developers and other contributors.
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