Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Christel Dahlskjaer <christel@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] Gentoo: State of the Union
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 00:22:47
Message-Id: 1146273593.23616.39.camel@gaspode
In Reply to: [gentoo-dev] Gentoo: State of the Union by Ryan Phillips
1 Hola Ryan,
3 On Fri, 2006-04-28 at 10:14 -0700, Ryan Phillips wrote:
4 > This is a follow up to Mark's (halcy0n's) thread regarding QA Policies and
5 > seemant's letter on herds, teams, and projects.
6 >
7 > I believe the way Gentoo is doing things is broken. There I have said it. The
8 > entire project has reached a level of being too political and trying to solve
9 > certain problems in the wrong way.
11 There certainly is scope for doing some things better, but this is of no
12 surprise to any of us. Gentoo has grown and matured quite a lot over the
13 past few years and what worked with 15 developers doesn't work all that
14 well with 300+, in the process of finding out what works best we have
15 (and will continue to) encounter difficulties and situations that
16 doesn't please everyone. However, I wouldn't say that it's all bad.
18 > Some of these problems are intermixed. Please consider them starting points
19 > for discussion.
20 >
21 > __Problem: Developer Growth__
22 >
23 > I find that developer growth as being a problem. Adding a developer to gentoo
24 > should be as easy as 1. has the user contributed numerous (~5+) patches that
25 > helps the project move forward. If yes, then commit access should be given.
26 > Adding a developer is usually quite a chore. There are numerous reasons why
27 > this is a problem: having a live tree, taking a test, and not defining within
28 > policy when a person could possibly get commit access.
30 Having just completed my ebuild and end quiz last week (having been a
31 'fake developer/staffer' for a little while longer) I must admit that I
32 didn't in any way find the quizzes to be at all difficult or hard, and
33 certainly not at all something that made it more difficult to become a
34 developer. If anything I found taking the quizzes to be educational,
35 now, I may be blessed by having Seemant as my mentor; he did ensure that
36 he took the time to review my quiz properly and that he also took the
37 time to expand on the questions already asked in the quiz (We played 20
38 questions and he made me answer a bunch of semi related stuff which in
39 turn helped me ellaborate on my answers as well as getting a better
40 understanding of the various bits mentioned in the quiz). And while I
41 have been around for a bit now, I certainly value the work my mentor did
42 in ensuring that I felt comfortable and confident before taking the
43 plunge and submitting.
45 As for the work involved from recruiters, they certainly didn't leave me
46 hanging around and when my quizzes were submitted it went pretty fast
47 ahead, they were marked, passed and my access was changed.
49 I personally believe that the quizzes could be more difficult. And I
50 hope that the current revamp of the recruitment process will be one that
51 will benefit potential developers as well as current developers, Gentoo
52 as a whole and of course our user base.
54 > All these reasons leave the project stagnant and lacking developers.
56 On the contrary, now while I agree that some projects may be lacking in
57 man power I think overall there is more likely to be some deadweight. I
58 know Bryan (kloeri) has done quite a job out of clearing out and
59 retiring inactive devs, but I still believe that we may be overstaffed
60 in some areas. Maybe those areas that are lacking need to look at why
61 they are not attracting people? Or why people who showed interest didn't
62 stick around for the entire recruitment process? I believe that we need
63 to ensure that we have top notch, high quality devs rather than aiming
64 for quantity.
66 And of course, we don't want a situation where it's too easy to become a
67 dev only to have people yo-yo in/out of the project as and when the
68 fancy takes them.
70 <snip>
72 > __Problem: QA Policies__
73 >
74 >
75 >
76 > It seems that the QA Policies are a product of a Live Tree, and going partially
77 > non-live would solve the problems listed.
78 >
79 > Everyone here is on the same team. There will be some breakages in the tree
80 > and those can be dealt with. Like Seemant [1] said, herds are just groups of
81 > like *packages*. The QA Policy is wrong when it says cross-team assistance; we
82 > are all on the *same* team. The tree should naturally work. If it doesn't
83 > then that is a bug for all of us.
85 Although we are all here to work on Gentoo and hopefully have a unision
86 goal, the motivation and the ideas for implementation and of course what
87 we find important differ. For the most part we are a group of pretty
88 decent people, but we don't always agree. Which is perfectly fine.
90 > Conflict resolution should not be a subproject. It should *not* exist at all.
91 > Rules need to be in place to avoid conflict. Having some sort of voting
92 > structure for all the developers (this doesn't mean requiring everyone to vote)
93 > and not just the council or devrel makes a lot of sense for most things. If I
94 > don't like how someone is acting within the project there should be a vote and
95 > then see if that person is kicked out. No trial, no anything besides a vote.
96 > And if I lose I have to deal with it. Either stay with the project, or find
97 > something else. This solution just works.
99 I am not entirely certain what your definition of conflict is, but in a
100 group as large as ours there will no doubt be a conflict of interests
101 and beliefs. People can't be expected to agree 100% all the time, and
102 lets be realistic, if we did we would be going absolutely nowhere and
103 this would be terribly boring.
105 Now, I believe that having a votes only system in place could be quite
106 dangerous and could easily be abused. Say Developer X annoyed me, so I
107 decided to ensure that there was a vote, I could easily fabricate some
108 reason for why I thought he was bad for the project and I could
109 certainly win people over on my side to ensure that he was voted out.
111 Now, admittedly the current policy for dealing with conflicts of the
112 sort of nature where action needs to be taken against a developer has
113 been proven to give more headache than what it's worth and therefor
114 Devrel are attempting to work on changing the way they deal with this.
115 Now, the discussion about this has been open on the gentoo-devrel@ ML
116 for a few days and it appears that no-one has any input on the proposed
117 new policy at all.
119 Personally I would like to see a change, I would like us to be able to
120 avoid having to go through things such as a hearing process. I would
121 like for trolling/flaming and personal attacks to be discouraged and
122 stomped down on as and when they occur rather than when they have become
123 the sort of problem that affects the morale and motivation for all of
124 us. But that's a different discussion for a different time and a
125 different mailing list.
128 > Gentoo should be a fun environment. The previous paragraph should be taken as
129 > a last resort.
131 Quite. "It's supposed to be fun, too." Now, personally I find Gentoo to
132 be primarily fun. I am involved with some incredibly awesome teams and I
133 deal with people who just plain kick arse. And I know that for many they
134 find the same within their projects/teams/whatevers... It's just a shame
135 we can't make it global yet ;)
137 Cheers,
138 Christel Dahlskjaer
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