Gentoo Archives: gentoo-science

From: "M. Edward (Ed) Borasky" <znmeb@×××××××.net>
To: gentoo-science@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-science] Re: Scientific herd leadership
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005 14:57:43
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-science] Re: Scientific herd leadership by "Marcus D. Hanwell"
Marcus D. Hanwell wrote:

>On Monday 22 August 2005 08:48, C Y wrote: > > >>Perhaps we could have a "support team" behind someone with official >>Gentoo developer status - people could point out significant ebuilds >>with most logic in place to the developer, help work out quirks in the >>programs/ebuilds, and generally speed things up? Certainly the >>developer would bear final responsibility but this way those of us with >>five hours every month or so could help out too, particularly for >>specialty packages. (BTY, if some genius could figure out brl-cad I >>would be grateful - it's going to take me a year at this point :-/.) >> >> > >I was wondering myself if some people in here might be receptive to the idea >of a support team, much like the arch testers we have for the amd64 porting >team. It often leads on to people becoming devs, but is a great way to help >out when you can. > >
Yeah, it's a good idea -- my tastes are widely varying, though, including science and computer music, Ruby on Rails, and just learning in general. For myself, I'm probably closer to knowing what's "under the hood" in R than any other package; I've been using it since 1.1 or thereabouts. In the case of R, I beta test the upstream tarballs whenever I have the spare time. But the R ebuild itself isn't particularly tricky, nor is there a lot of work maintaining portability of it across the Gentoo-supported architectures. Their issues are the same as those of most open-source packages -- x86-64 and GCC 4. :) In the end, we're all volunteers anyhow in this game. We do what we can when we can, as long as it's legal and ethical. So I'm going to keep spending at least four hours a week doing exactly what I'm doing now, whether or not I get some kind of "formal" status or "recognition" -- just the learning and having the quality software available when I need it is enough!
>Tony Murray is filling that kind of role unofficially with all the work he >puts into the boinc and setiathome ebuilds, whilst I review, test, improve >and commit them once they are up to standard. I also have good contact with >the quickplot developer who has integrated my patches upstream and helped >significantly with the ebuilds for that package. > >I think these relationships are important, and I personally nurture them as >much as possible. Many scientific packages are very involved and having >people help test and work out problems can significantly increase our >efficiency as a team. > >
It's also important to have lines of communication/liasons with the upstream package developers. Since most of Gentoo is built from source, it could take as little as a few hours for an upstream release to make it into Portage unstable/testing and onto a Gentoo user's system. Good news and bad news can travel at the same speed. :) In my case, I've been the "user" in the development chain of TeXmacs and Common Music. There's no way on Earth I could have done that in Fedora or even Debian. (Actually, in the case of TeXmacs, I did try to file a bug in Debian on the TeXmacs/R bug I found, but never did figure out their bug filing system. And those folks at TeXmacs never *have* fixed the bug, either! :( ) -- M. Edward (Ed) Borasky -- gentoo-science@g.o mailing list