With just a couple of small features, these devices could really become community friendly:
- Serial port. A kingdom for a router or NAS with a proper serial port! Or at least a pre-solder the serial headers and provide a cable with a TTL shifter.
- Unbrickable bootloader. Alternatively, a relatively hard to brick bootloader like Linksys NSLU-2 has.
- Mainlined kernel. No "Linux 2.4.22 + binary drivers" crap, like this netgear device.
- Widespread availability. The community is around the world.
Not as necessary, but nice to have features for a community-oriented product:
- JTAG. So one gets to unbrick it in case bootloader went bonkers. Also allows the community to develop the bootloader.
- Extensibility. Just adding a USB port gives any device huge amount of extra possible uses. A SD slot would give loads of storage space. etc..
- Contacts with engineers and developers from the manufacturer. Don't just market to the community, be part of the community :)