How to get FreeRADIUS documentation: contribute.

Alan DeKok aland at
Sun Aug 27 21:34:03 CEST 2006

"Scott Holland" <hollstar2047 at> wrote:
> I'm not going to get into what the project lacks as this is old news. At 
> least Alan is working on documentation to support people like us. :) Having 
> said that, I find it amazing as to the lack of overal support for the 
> project on the Internet. Working examples seem to be hard to come by?

  The people who work on the project do so in their free time, at
their own expense.  They have full-time jobs, families, hobbies, and
other interests.  Despite that, they devote a significant amount of
time to pushing the project ahead.

> All of the work I do is Microsoft Server based (no suprise)! I am new to 
> Linux in almost every sense of the word yet I'm well aware of how powerfull 
> it can be... The downfall of Linux on the whole, and I'm not talking about 
> any one project and or distro, is the total lack of real support. When I say 
> real support, I mean good, solid documentation to help new users from the 
> ground up.

  Support is available, if you're willing to pay for it.  Free
documentation is less readily available.  Microsoft can afford to have
free documentation online because you paid money for their product.
Your surprise that free software doesn't have commercial quantities of
documentation is based on a lack of education as to the economics of
the situation.

  Other open source projects have people getting paid full-time to
work on the those projects.  FreeRADIUS doesn't.  Some are smaller
than FreeRADIUS in terms of the number of deployments, too. Other
projects have more people involved, which spreads the load.  That's
why some projects have more and better documentation.

  And yet... if we ask for people to contribute documentation, 99.9%
of the people who use the server (or any open source project) don't.
When we ask people to pay for support or development, they don't.
When we point out that it's not nice for people who don't contribute
to complain about the work done by the people who do contribute, rude
words are sent our way...

  It makes me wonder why I'm even bothering.

  So let's try the "put up or shut up" method.  If I get 100 people
contributing $1k U.S. each, I'll devote a year, full-time, to
FreeRADIUS documentation, development, and bug fixes.  Given that my
time is now only about 5-10 hours a week, you should see a *major*
improvement in the product.

  Heck, I'll even put a meter on my web site, listing how close we are
to the goal, and mention the people who contributed (if they want.)
Send me private email with a promise, and if we get close, I'll
respond, and ask for the checks.  If not, you'll have to continue with
the same level of documentation you have now.

  Is that good enough?

  Alan DeKok.
--       - The web site of the book - The blog

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