Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Tom Wijsman <TomWij@g.o>
To: alan.mckinnon@×××××.com
Cc: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] rfc: formally allow qa to suspend commit rights
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:57:35
Message-Id: 20140121155616.6a8cdf9b@TOMWIJ-GENTOO
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-dev] rfc: formally allow qa to suspend commit rights by Alan McKinnon
1 On Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:09:46 +0200
2 Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@×××××.com> wrote:
4 > Speaking as someone who had this power in his day job, for QA to be
5 > able to suspend accounts is a very bad idea indeed. It always ends
6 > badly. I suspended 20+ accounts in my current job over the years and
7 > the number of cases where it was the right thing to do is precisely 0.
9 The relation between "using power" and "having power is a bad idea" is
10 non-existing; it is rather how that power is used that determines
11 whether it is a good idea than whether one is able to use that power.
13 > It was always a case of ill-advised action taken out of frustration,
14 > or bypass the training step, or don't try hard enough to reach the
15 > "infringer" and communicate like grown adults. Yup, I did all three.
17 The prior experience demonstrated here shows how frustration or lack of
18 proper communication are really good symptoms to investigate and learn
19 from; however, these symptoms seem non-existing with our QA lead.
21 > Suspending an account is a very serious thing to undertake, the
22 > effects on the suspended person are vast and this power should never
23 > lie with the person who is feeling the pain.
25 This is the core symptom of the way you do QA, if you are the person
26 that is feeling pain then you need to reconsider your QA position; the
27 thing feeling the pain here is the Portage tree, and the QA team is
28 just ensuring its quality and thus should not get emotional or
29 personally affected by the developers' changes to some bits 'n bytes.
31 Of course one could see QA as defending the Portage tree with our heart;
32 but not that literally, at least not up to the point that one gets
33 painfully hurt or even just frustrated...
35 > Instead, there are well established channels to the body who can make
36 > the decision. If QA has a problem with a dev for any reason
37 > whatsoever, then QA should make a well-thought out case to that other
38 > body for decision.
40 Adding extra bodies adds more delay; furthermore, these bodies have
41 less time, understanding and more about the technical QA issue at hand.
43 If a developer does an unannounced mass action that breaks the tree
44 severely or is heavily prohibited by policy, is unreachable while he
45 continues to commit this; then it would be handy to "temporarily" be
46 able to withdraw the commit access to bring it to that developer's
47 attention. This is under the assumption that we have tried to contact
48 the person multiple time and after a reasonable amount of time the
49 person has not responded; if we still then need to wait for another
50 team to notice, investigate and finally take action whereas we have
51 already took the decision, ...
53 This is rather to note that we need have a talk to coordinate that mass
54 action and unbreak the tree, than it is to punish that developer by
55 hitting with a ruler on his/her hand; in a sense of "let's fix the
56 damage to the tree and proceed".
58 There even can happen worse things; like misusing 'pkgmove', the
59 @system set or similar that can cause some real havoc. It is in this
60 occasion where a developer hasn't discussed or talked to anyone earlier
61 before proceeding with a change he knows he shouldn't do, as well as
62 ignoring us afterwards; that we simply temporarily cannot allow further
63 commits, simply because the developer seems "technically unable to
64 follow the policy and its enforcement".
66 This is similar to how you have Gentoo support ops in #gentoo, Gentoo
67 chat ops in #gentoo-chat and individual ops in individual IRC channels;
68 if they had to rely on another body which would be the group contacts or
69 FreeNode, you would have to wait a long for them to kick, ban or mute.
71 If the non-technical ComRel lead has this power, then why doesn't the
72 technical QA lead have this power? After all, the technical lead assures
73 the quality of what the developer has access to; like I stated above,
74 the technical lead has more time, understanding and knows the issue.
76 You can see this as ComRel improving the QA of the community relations,
77 whereas QA is improving the QA of the Portage tree and its commits; to
78 some extent it even becomes questionable why ComRel can suspend access
79 to the Portage tree, but I guess for revert wars between developers.
81 > Anything else is madness and open invitation for it to all go south.
83 This is a too broad generalization on the basis of one use case.
85 See power as an useful temporary tool for when it is absolute necessary,
86 don't see it as a permanent tool for whenever something goes wrong; the
87 former usefulness leads to success, the latter madness leads to sadness.
89 --
90 With kind regards,
92 Tom Wijsman (TomWij)
93 Gentoo Developer
95 E-mail address : TomWij@g.o
96 GPG Public Key : 6D34E57D
97 GPG Fingerprint : C165 AF18 AB4C 400B C3D2 ABF0 95B2 1FCD 6D34 E57D


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