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Old 01-08-2008, 04:26 PM
John Poelstra
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

Jesse Keating said the following on 01/05/2008 04:47 AM Pacific Time:
> On Sat, 05 Jan 2008 13:28:32 +0100
> Thorsten Leemhuis <fedora@leemhuis.info> wrote:
>
>> In fact, something like the above is what I always do and did for my
>> packages (and had to do, as I'm a package-monkey and no developer).
>>
>> IOW: if it's not a packaging bug or otherwise specific to Fedora I
>> asked the reported to report the bug upstream, as the bug gets fixed
>> for everyone then -- that includes other distributions and thus is
>> the best for everyone and avoid double work in our current world with
>> fivehundred-and-more distributions. If the reported didn't forward the
>> bug upstream I did it if the bug looked worth forwarding.
>
> Except that as a maintainer it's one of your responsibilities to do
> some of the upstream filing/tracking.
>

Agreed.

And for someone where Fedora is their first experience with open source
software it is disheartening and discouraging to go to the trouble to
file a bug and then be told to that your effort was a waste of time
because you "should have first searched for that same bug upstream and
then reported a bug if you couldn't find it there." We're lucky enough
that these people ran the gauntlet to get their bug in Fedora bugzilla,
let alone expect them to figure where "upstream" is and how exactly to
get there.


This seems a little reminiscent of the old school "go read the man page"
response that helps and challenges some people, while turning off a
greater number. We can't grow a bigger, more vibrant community if we
dis the people trying to get involved and help.


John

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Old 01-08-2008, 04:43 PM
"Jon Stanley"
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Jan 8, 2008 12:26 PM, John Poelstra <poelstra@redhat.com> wrote:

> let alone expect them to figure where "upstream" is and how exactly to
> get there.

Or even what "upstream" means. That concept would be more than a
little foreign to folks who come to us from the world of proprietary
software. We need to be very cognizant of that, and if we either file
a bug upstream or tell the reporter to (which we shouldn't IMHO), we
need to educate them on exactly what that means. Refer to the second
paragraph of the original question at [1] which caught my eye a few
months back and I'm happy I could find again, and this is a CS
student!

[1] http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/22/1526234

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Old 01-08-2008, 07:06 PM
"Paul W. Frields"
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 09:26 -0800, John Poelstra wrote:
> Jesse Keating said the following on 01/05/2008 04:47 AM Pacific Time:
> > On Sat, 05 Jan 2008 13:28:32 +0100
> > Thorsten Leemhuis <fedora@leemhuis.info> wrote:
> >
> >> In fact, something like the above is what I always do and did for my
> >> packages (and had to do, as I'm a package-monkey and no developer).
> >>
> >> IOW: if it's not a packaging bug or otherwise specific to Fedora I
> >> asked the reported to report the bug upstream, as the bug gets fixed
> >> for everyone then -- that includes other distributions and thus is
> >> the best for everyone and avoid double work in our current world with
> >> fivehundred-and-more distributions. If the reported didn't forward the
> >> bug upstream I did it if the bug looked worth forwarding.
> >
> > Except that as a maintainer it's one of your responsibilities to do
> > some of the upstream filing/tracking.
> >
>
> Agreed.
>
> And for someone where Fedora is their first experience with open source
> software it is disheartening and discouraging to go to the trouble to
> file a bug and then be told to that your effort was a waste of time
> because you "should have first searched for that same bug upstream and
> then reported a bug if you couldn't find it there." We're lucky enough
> that these people ran the gauntlet to get their bug in Fedora bugzilla,
> let alone expect them to figure where "upstream" is and how exactly to
> get there.

Couldn't have said this better myself.

> This seems a little reminiscent of the old school "go read the man page"
> response that helps and challenges some people, while turning off a
> greater number. We can't grow a bigger, more vibrant community if we
> dis the people trying to get involved and help.

+1! Fedora has come a *very* long way respecting the community of
developers and packagers. Now we need to get even better at welcoming a
broader community of users, not the least of which are those who take
the time to do that which we passionately implore of them -- "File a
bug! File a bug! File a bug!"

--
Paul W. Frields, RHCE http://paul.frields.org/
gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233 5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
Fedora Project: http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:53 PM
David Woodhouse
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 20:06 +0000, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> > This seems a little reminiscent of the old school "go read the man page"
> > response that helps and challenges some people, while turning off a
> > greater number. We can't grow a bigger, more vibrant community if we
> > dis the people trying to get involved and help.
>
> +1! Fedora has come a *very* long way respecting the community of
> developers and packagers. Now we need to get even better at welcoming a
> broader community of users, not the least of which are those who take
> the time to do that which we passionately implore of them -- "File a
> bug! File a bug! File a bug!"

I think there's more to it than that -- it's not just the PR angle. I
think that if our packagers aren't willing and able to take an active
rôle in ensuring the quality of the software we ship, we have a serious
problem.

I welcome the non-programmers who volunteer to package software, and
their work is very valuable -- but it really isn't going to turn out
well for Fedora if we prioritise quantity over quality to the extent
that we end up shipping packages which we can't _properly_ maintain.

The quote I posted earlier in this thread ("this is a bug in the
software, not the packaging") is taken verbatim from bugzilla, and I
find it extremely shocking. We have to do better than this, really.
Either that or go back to having a clear 'second class' repository
again, which I don't think we really want.

Perhaps one option would be for non-programmer packagers to team up with
a programmer/sponsor to take on the task of package maintenance? Where
currently a package has one 'owner', there would instead be two rôles --
a 'packager' and potentially a separate 'hacker'. Those wanting to
package software which they can't fully maintain for themselves would
have to recruit a programmer-type to sign up for the job with them.

I would certainly welcome being part of such a partnership -- I lack the
wit and the attention to detail for actually packaging software, and I
would like someone clever to do that bit, leaving me with the
monkey-work of poking at the damn thing in gdb when it's _really_
misbehaving, which I happen to find enjoyable and which my deranged
brain can actually handle.

--
dwmw2

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Old 01-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Christian Iseli
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 21:53:23 +0000, David Woodhouse wrote:
> I welcome the non-programmers who volunteer to package software, and
> their work is very valuable -- but it really isn't going to turn out
> well for Fedora if we prioritise quantity over quality to the extent
> that we end up shipping packages which we can't _properly_ maintain.
>
> The quote I posted earlier in this thread ("this is a bug in the
> software, not the packaging") is taken verbatim from bugzilla, and I
> find it extremely shocking. We have to do better than this, really.
> Either that or go back to having a clear 'second class' repository
> again, which I don't think we really want.

Agreed.

> Perhaps one option would be for non-programmer packagers to team up
> with a programmer/sponsor to take on the task of package maintenance?
> Where currently a package has one 'owner', there would instead be two
> rôles -- a 'packager' and potentially a separate 'hacker'. Those
> wanting to package software which they can't fully maintain for
> themselves would have to recruit a programmer-type to sign up for the
> job with them.

I like this idea. And I know we have very capable programmers who
already offered to help squash bugs in various source code dialects.

Christian

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Old 01-08-2008, 10:49 PM
"Paul W. Frields"
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 23:20 +0100, Christian Iseli wrote:
> On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 21:53:23 +0000, David Woodhouse wrote:
> > I welcome the non-programmers who volunteer to package software, and
> > their work is very valuable -- but it really isn't going to turn out
> > well for Fedora if we prioritise quantity over quality to the extent
> > that we end up shipping packages which we can't _properly_ maintain.
> >
> > The quote I posted earlier in this thread ("this is a bug in the
> > software, not the packaging") is taken verbatim from bugzilla, and I
> > find it extremely shocking. We have to do better than this, really.
> > Either that or go back to having a clear 'second class' repository
> > again, which I don't think we really want.
>
> Agreed.

Concur.

> > Perhaps one option would be for non-programmer packagers to team up
> > with a programmer/sponsor to take on the task of package maintenance?
> > Where currently a package has one 'owner', there would instead be two
> > rôles -- a 'packager' and potentially a separate 'hacker'. Those
> > wanting to package software which they can't fully maintain for
> > themselves would have to recruit a programmer-type to sign up for the
> > job with them.
>
> I like this idea. And I know we have very capable programmers who
> already offered to help squash bugs in various source code dialects.

As do I. I have the ability to fix a few easier target bugs in the
software I maintain, but not harder ones. For instance, the recent
changes WRT gio would only boggle me. But Matthias Clasen has been kind
enough to give me some pointers to fix those problems, and that has
helped, or will help in some cases, a lot. I know that I can't be the
only person in that situation.

--
Paul W. Frields, RHCE http://paul.frields.org/
gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233 5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
Fedora Project: http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:09 PM
"Stephen John Smoogen"
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Jan 8, 2008 2:53 PM, David Woodhouse <dwmw2@infradead.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 20:06 +0000, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> > > This seems a little reminiscent of the old school "go read the man page"
> > > response that helps and challenges some people, while turning off a
> > > greater number. We can't grow a bigger, more vibrant community if we
> > > dis the people trying to get involved and help.
> >
> > +1! Fedora has come a *very* long way respecting the community of
> > developers and packagers. Now we need to get even better at welcoming a
> > broader community of users, not the least of which are those who take
> > the time to do that which we passionately implore of them -- "File a
> > bug! File a bug! File a bug!"
>
> I think there's more to it than that -- it's not just the PR angle. I
> think that if our packagers aren't willing and able to take an active
> rôle in ensuring the quality of the software we ship, we have a serious
> problem.
>
> I welcome the non-programmers who volunteer to package software, and
> their work is very valuable -- but it really isn't going to turn out
> well for Fedora if we prioritise quantity over quality to the extent
> that we end up shipping packages which we can't _properly_ maintain.
>
> The quote I posted earlier in this thread ("this is a bug in the
> software, not the packaging") is taken verbatim from bugzilla, and I
> find it extremely shocking. We have to do better than this, really.
> Either that or go back to having a clear 'second class' repository
> again, which I don't think we really want.
>
> Perhaps one option would be for non-programmer packagers to team up with
> a programmer/sponsor to take on the task of package maintenance? Where
> currently a package has one 'owner', there would instead be two rôles --
> a 'packager' and potentially a separate 'hacker'. Those wanting to
> package software which they can't fully maintain for themselves would
> have to recruit a programmer-type to sign up for the job with them.
>
> I would certainly welcome being part of such a partnership -- I lack the
> wit and the attention to detail for actually packaging software, and I
> would like someone clever to do that bit, leaving me with the
> monkey-work of poking at the damn thing in gdb when it's _really_
> misbehaving, which I happen to find enjoyable and which my deranged
> brain can actually handle.
>
> --

I think that this would be a useful item.. there are probably only 1
experienced programmer to every 10-20 packagers out there. Getting
some mentorship and help would be a useful 2 way street. I think that
it might be good to look at package teams. Say a package has 1-2
'lead-programmers', 2-3 packagers with some sort of schedule for whose
turn it is in the barrel. This would allow for more peer programming
and more train the trainer items so that the next generation of
programmers can take over in 2-3 years when Dr Woodhouse has finally
built his secret base on the moon and retires there with his retinue
of Fembots.

Again growing pains as we figure out how to make software work for our
community.

Also.. here is what I would like to say for triaging bugs: Lets put
together a pool of money for triage work and put a contest together
not for the most closed bugs, but the most tested to see if the
problem is still around in FC9-alpha-alpha-1.


--
Stephen J Smoogen. -- CSIRT/Linux System Administrator
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed
in a naughty world. = Shakespeare. "The Merchant of Venice"

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Old 01-09-2008, 05:16 AM
Thorsten Leemhuis
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On 08.01.2008 22:53, David Woodhouse wrote:
> Perhaps one option would be for non-programmer packagers to team up with
> a programmer/sponsor to take on the task of package maintenance?

Don't put more bureaucracy or hurdles in the way. That won't scale and
will frustrate people and some will feel a second-class citizen (I
already feel unwanted more and more in Fedora-land after this discussion
because I never found time to learn proper programming -- mostly due to
fact that most of my free time is already filled with Fedora-related work).

We have a lot of non-hackers that maintain packages in Fedora and it
worked well so far and that in parts made Fedora what it is today. What
IMHO would be good instead of what you outline: groups of people (SIGs)
a package-monkey can contact if he needs help to fix or improve
something needs programming skills.

CU
knurd

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Old 01-09-2008, 07:32 AM
Christian Iseli
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Wed, 09 Jan 2008 07:16:22 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> Don't put more bureaucracy or hurdles in the way. That won't scale and
> will frustrate people and some will feel a second-class citizen (I
> already feel unwanted more and more in Fedora-land after this
> discussion because I never found time to learn proper programming --
> mostly due to fact that most of my free time is already filled with
> Fedora-related work).

I do not think anyone is trying to require packagers to be able
programmers. At least, that's not the spirit I'd like to see.

> We have a lot of non-hackers that maintain packages in Fedora and it
> worked well so far and that in parts made Fedora what it is today.
> What IMHO would be good instead of what you outline: groups of people
> (SIGs) a package-monkey can contact if he needs help to fix or improve
> something needs programming skills.

What I'd like to see is:
- emergence of a group of able programmers willing to help squashing
bugs in other maintainers' packages, and an easy way to alert this
group of people to a list of bugs to squash
- education of the non-programmers packagers that they can and *should*
seek help from the above group when needed, and how to go about this
process

Christian

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Old 01-09-2008, 07:39 AM
Michael Schwendt
 
Default closing out old bugs of unmaintained releases

On Wed, 09 Jan 2008 07:16:22 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:

> On 08.01.2008 22:53, David Woodhouse wrote:
> > Perhaps one option would be for non-programmer packagers to team up with
> > a programmer/sponsor to take on the task of package maintenance?
>
> Don't put more bureaucracy or hurdles in the way. That won't scale and
> will frustrate people and some will feel a second-class citizen

Not just that, it is completely unrealistic to hope that there would be
enough volunteers to fill the "programmer/sponsor" role. As soon as a
package has found a packager for Fedora, it already becomes hard to find a
second person with interest in either co-packaging it or taking it
over. One can observe Fedora users building [large] software from source
tarballs as soon as a package in Fedora is not the latest version or
causes a problem, but they don't consider becoming Fedora Contributors to
join a team that oversees the same software in packages. Becoming a
packager is not attractive enough when there are many requirements (such
as policies and procedures) and obligations. And those, who have the
technical capabilities (in particular, knowledge of the relevant APIs and
inner-workings of the packaged software itself) either are active upstream
already or are occupied with other work/interests.

> What
> IMHO would be good instead of what you outline: groups of people (SIGs)
> a package-monkey can contact if he needs help to fix or improve
> something needs programming skills.

Is it necessary to increase complexity of the Fedora Project's structure
by adding lots of small SIGs like that? The Wiki pages are really
troublesome already because it has become increasingly difficult to
navigate in them and find what you are looking for. Additionally, there's
still the problem of over-complex page layout, such as pseudo-menus that
use tables and include files. I'd rather suggest that packagers request
assistance on fedora-devel-list or via some keyword/feature in bugzilla.

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