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node_one
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed that on the Staffing Needs page most of the postings are very specific. So does Gentoo need more arch testers, bug-wranglers, etc? Do those belong on that page? I do not know, what do you (plural) think?
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tanderson
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="node_one"]
gentoofan23 wrote:
You can also subscribe to the gentoo-scm mailing list which contains discussion a possible switch.
8) Thanks! I guess I may have to. I am interested to see what everyone thinks and this list is not available on the mail archive. What is proper netiquette for the mailing lists? Can/should users post, etc?

Sure, lots of users are on gentoo-dev, the development list even. In my opinion the one thing you need to know as far as mailing list etiquette is to only open your mouth when you have something to say and you know what you're talking about( I suppose asking a question doesn't apply to this ;-) )
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steveL
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AllenJB wrote:
The first step wouldn't even be prioritising them - it would be getting more devs/teams to use them, and possibly featuring one team a month in GMN or something to spread the word a bit more. The GMN article could involve a detailed description from a member of the team about what sort of things they do day-to-day and how people can get in contact with them if they're interested in helping.

Great: are you going to do that then? Only I've heard loads of ideas like that before, and it basically comes down to people to do the work (which you have stated yourself) and whether anyone on the other side is actually interested in engaging with the wider community (which you tend to skim over from what I've read; no offence.) I'm not convinced on the latter, since there have been loads of people offer help in the time I've hung around here, and they always seem to come away wondering why no-one gives a damn about their contribution. (Not that anyone is under any obligation to do so, of course. That's not what I mean, if anyone's reading that implication in.)
Quote:
Also, there are some terminology items that could be changed that confuse people - herd and project (heck, even I don't know for sure which way round to use them) - as I understand one is a grouping of packages while the other is a grouping of developers. Perhaps "team" would be a better term for the latter. This might help people to find the developers they want to talk to more easily.

Do you really think it's that hard for people to get in touch with developers? I agree for a newbie, it takes a while to progress from forums to user ml, irc and other lists (mainly because of the horror stories you hear), but plenty of us know how to get in touch with the devs; our experiences mean we don't want to, until we're forced to, to sort out some software issue that affects us. Those are just as valid as all (both?;) the stories of "Oh it's easy just go online, I had no bother.." Some would say the not-so-nice experiences (on either side) is where the learning needs to take place.

Team sounds fine, project has a different meaning. Why try and tie the specification down? It appears like the bike shed thing: let's not talk about the difficult stuff. Users are far more likely to turn to fellow users, than approach a developer. Be fair: Gentoo devs have got a lousy reputation when it comes to intra-project relations. If they're as nasty, or nastier, to each other, it doesn't really bode well for anyone looking in. And yeah, it's good that users provide the support: thing is as they learn more, they're bound to question things. That shouldn't be stepped on, but encouraged.

I think the issues are recruitment and retention: neither of those is down to users. Why isn't this conversation happening on the dev m-l? After all, it's devs who need to set the tone, and the direction, and devs who need to show the ROTW that the game has changed (if it has.) IMO it's just easier to take it to the forums, ask a few questions to show you care, and then go back to the usual thing; worry just about the packages you're interested in, and ignore anything bad til it's time to flame some newb for `daring' to talk back (aka: joking to fit in.) I mean, who'd be mad enough to ask that hornet's nest for help? Especially for something with no leet kudos points attached (gotta know your crowd.) I know, let's just ask the users (again)..

So in summary: take it to the dev m-l and ask every single one of them to put some thought and effort into recruiting new people, retaining the people they get on with, and most especially changing their image as a collective. So that Gentoo isn't just seen as a supportive, knowledgeable userbase with some bitchy devs who ruin the fun for everyone and get most of the attention (might be some correlation there), but a supportive, knowledgeable userbase which flows into a talented dev pool who are more interested in software than ego: the craft of the thing as opposed to the kudos (nice as that is.) Gentoo users will always help out, we're known for it ;-)
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Syntaxis
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gentoofan23 wrote:
node_one wrote:
What is proper netiquette for the mailing lists? Can/should users post, etc?

Sure, lots of users are on gentoo-dev, the development list even. In my opinion the one thing you need to know as far as mailing list etiquette is to only open your mouth when you have something to say and you know what you're talking about

Being on-topic is generally considered advantageous, too. :-) Case in point: the -project mailing list was created to keep non-technical discussions off -dev, so trying to hold this kind of conversation on -dev would be ill-advised.

steveL wrote:
So in summary: take it to the dev m-l

No, pretty please don't. Take it to -project, where it belongs.

At this point, someone tends to complain that not as many developers are subscribed to that list. Tough; that's their right. Again: -project was created to keep non-technical topics off -dev, so someone being subscribed to -dev but not -project should be interpreted as their having deliberately opted out of this discussion. Attempts to force them to participate against their will are quite rightly going to piss them off.
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steveL
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syntaxis wrote:
Case in point: the -project mailing list was created to keep non-technical discussions off -dev, so trying to hold this kind of conversation on -dev would be ill-advised.

steveL wrote:
So in summary: take it to the dev m-l

No, pretty please don't. Take it to -project, where it belongs.

At this point, someone tends to complain that not as many developers are subscribed to that list. Tough; that's their right. Again: -project was created to keep non-technical topics off -dev, so someone being subscribed to -dev but not -project should be interpreted as their having deliberately opted out of this discussion. Attempts to force them to participate against their will are quite rightly going to piss them off.

Fair enough; project m-l then. Either way, it's a conversation for a developer mailing-list not the forums imo. It's down to the devs to sort out recruitment and retention, not users, most of whom are willing to help out as much as they can, and indeed do so. Users dreaming up yet more technical ideas doesn't address the issue; it's not a question of mechanisms of communication, as plenty exist. If devs feel a) that there is an issue, and b) that a technical change is needed (eg wrt junior bug-wranglers/triage teams) then they're best-placed to implement. If a) doesn't apply, nothing else matters. If it does, then devs are the ones who need to make the changes, since it's their project. Collectively they present an image, irrespective of whether they want to or not.

50 people who are indifferent don't present much of an image, and 5 loud people can easily project a false image in that situation. If the indifferent ones are truly indifferent, that doesn't matter to them; I don't think they are though, as the false image projected can damage the main project, making it harder for their pet-projects in the future. Don't forget, most devs are devs primarily because Gentoo is useful to them: if it dies, they'll have to find another infrastructure to work with, and we all know Gentoo is the best ;-) So they should see sorting out recruitment and retention as in their own self-interest, if nothing else.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*bump*

Are the wheels still in motion? Any updates?
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node_one
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you want to know more about?

I can tell you than since I started looking at gentoo-scm nobody has posted anything. I have not seen anything related to recruitment/contributions on gentoo-dev or gentoo-project. Gentoo-wiki is down right now. :roll:
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

--

Last edited by 96140 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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steveL
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightmorph wrote:
New developer announcements are sent to gentoo-dev-announce, and often CCed to -project

He meant that no devs have posted anything remotely related to this thread or its topic, so clearly recruitment and retention has not been raised by any devs on that list or any other publically accessible one, only on the Forums.
Quote:
though the latter list is for more offtopic discussions not directly related to development.

No: it's development-related posts that are non-technical in nature, not simply off-topic stuff that has nothing to do with development; for that there's OTW, #gentoo-chat or indeed /dev/null ;)
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node_one
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nightmorph wrote:
Then you haven't been looking very hard. In the last couple of weeks a few new developers have joined up. New developer announcements are sent to gentoo-dev-announce, and often CCed to -project, though the latter list is for more offtopic discussions not directly related to development.
I stand corrected. Recruitment announcements were posted to gentoo-project. I normally learn about new developers from the GMN and not from any particular list. I was referring to any new discussion closely, or vaguely, related to this thread on those lists specifically. The most recent posts in this topic were about recruitment, so that is the word I used.
nightmorph wrote:
And the -scm is going to be a low-volume list, simply because there isn't a pressing need to change VCS. Traffic would be much higher if there was a planned switch.
I only mentioned gentoo-scm to be informative. I have a relatively strong opinion about the whole VCS (SCM) issue, but this thread is not the place to discuss this.
nightmorph wrote:
Also, the wiki has nothing to do with Gentoo; so don't make any judgments regarding the distribution just because a third-party site is down yet again.
I mentioned Gentoo Wiki because beandog and yngwin are working on a guide there and, at the moment, I could not look for it because the third-party site was ... is still down.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zyko wrote:
*bump*

Are the wheels still in motion? Any updates?


Well if something is happening it ain't in this thread.
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node_one
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anything users/contributors can do to get bugs with posted fixes committed? I am not talking about enhancement bugs but about actual bugs. Bumps appear to be looked down upon.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading through this all at ynwin's recommendation after mentioning wanting to help in #gentoo-kde. I think the ideas presented so far have worth, but I'm seeing a slightly bigger/different problem than most people have mentioned.

I'm a techie first and foremost, but I'm unused to tools such as C/C++ etc - my forte is Java/C#/Perl/HTML/CSS/ASP.NET (though I'm learning Python so I can take over the world). I've always wanted to take part in something, but didn't know how to start. I'd consider myself a power user to the extent that I can troubleshoot problems, I've edited the odd ebuild in my time, I can use local overlays etc. I've worked as a project developer, technical business analyst, and manager. I've got a degree in network computing, and I'm currently working on a PhD in artificial intelligence, where I'll be using open-source games as my environment (that's a fancy way of saying I'm working on AI for games ;-) ). I don't mean that to be a CV, it's just to let you know that I am a techie at heart when I tell you what's next.

I think the problem is that techies are trying to find a techie way to organize other techies. Everyone so far is talking about numbers of developers, using already existing tools to work around stuff and so on - that latter part is indicative of the OSS community I think, where there are more clashes and collisions between software than other OSs. However, there doesn't seem to be any administration of the techies other than the senior techies saying 'yeah, alright', and I think that's where the problem is. I honestly think that Gentoo needs some sort of administrative layer for volunteers of a less techie background, or who want to get involved in a different way can contribute - I for one love optimizing systems, streamlining them and making them work better together, and I'd love to be involved in such a layer in the Gentoo community. There are a number of extremely good resources out there, but very little glue to hold it all together.

Community resources we have at present:
  • The Forums.
  • IRC.
  • Gentoo-wiki.
  • Gentoo-portage.
  • The website and its documentation.
  • The developers.
  • Bugzilla.

These are all relatively disparate systems, and such a 'glue' mechanism as a Community Support (CS) section of Gentoo could do the following:
  • The Forums pretty much work well anyway, but the experience of the forum mods and admins would be incalculable in helping setup the CS.
  • Co-ordinate with Freenode on IRC requirements. Maintain published lists of rooms and their ops. Help with training new ops to CS.
  • Maintain the wiki as admins. This could include monitoring IRC and the forums, and updating the wiki pages as necessary, or even starting them. (This would require bringing the wiki into the fold, but I can't think of anyone that would say that's a bad thing).
  • Maintain the website (the main documentation as provided by the various herds, links, published lists etc).
  • Talk to the developers. Get a feel for the work they do, how they work, what they want. This would feed through directly into wiki articles, website articles, newsletters etc. People hate 'no that can't be done' but love 'no, that can't be done yet, but we're planning x, y and z'. EDIT: I've just read The Thread regarding kde4.1, and by having just a few people even to chat to, the CS might be able to get some information to put people's minds at ease. This is just an example, mind you.
  • Bugzilla maintenance. In terms of assigning, culling, etc. Taking the administrative work away from the developers, so they have time to develop.

There are also other tools that could be used should the CS get up and running:
  • It could match experiences and interests of aspiring volunteers to projects needing development or maintainers - sort of like an administered monster.gentoo.org. This has been mentioned before, but seemingly shot down. I disagree that such a thing is a bad idea - given this is a technical community it would be very easy to create something that could be searched ('I'm looking for someone who knows Java, and has an interest in protocols and networking' - that's easy in a formalized system).
  • Part of the business analysis side of my work was business processes, and despite me originally thinking they were nothing but new-management rubbish, they are actually very powerful. For those that don't know of them, they are simply flow-charts that have various bands for who does what thing within the process. This is the kind of thing that is best for showing life-cycles, commit processes etc, especially when you can link straight from particular points in the process to documentation relating to that task.
  • It could act as a one-stop shop, where everyone involved in it has a wide wide breadth of knowledge, but not necessarily deep knowledge. That way if someone was unsure of the best place to go, they could ask the CS, and be directed to the right place. I know this is generally done anyway if someone asks a question in a wrong forum or chat room, but providing this kind of thing would help the people who might be afraid to ask in case it was the wrong place.
  • Allow some sort of centralization of the community. For example, as I said I don't know C/C++, and having someone publish a list of sites with good language conversion tutorials (or even writing one themselves) would be a huge bonus to those people (like me) who might be techie but wary of other languages, especially knowing how they can affect people's systems. The people in the CS could spot general ideas or gaps in combining knowledge and then fill it.
  • Talking to devs about why they are leaving, or asking if they'll be coming back, and so on. Not in some kind of intrusive way - obviously this is all voluntary and no-one is required to stay - but it might be something to do with how a project is run, or the technical aspects of the project, or anything which the CS might be able to help with. The CS wouldn't just be a resource for the users, it would be a resource for the developers too.

Someone mentioned that Fedora has paid members on their dev team, which is why they can jump on bugs as they are spotted - but they also employ business managers to ensure the smooth running of the project as a whole. The CS could fill that niche for Gentoo, facilitating an interface between users and developers. It would also be a huge boon for those people who might not want to volunteer in a technical nature, but do want to help out.

In summary, aka TL;DR (it was a long post, sorry) DistroWatch lists one of the key pros of Gentoo being the huge amount of documentation, experience and knowledge of the community, but once you're here it all feels a bit disjointed sometimes. Users would like some sort of 'unified' view of Gentoo as a whole, and developers (seem to) want to smooth things over with how they relate to potential volunteers. By creating a Community Support section within Gentoo, and combining all the documentation and other resources under one banner, users would have that view, and the devs could pass a lot of the administration of things over to the same section. I know what I've said seems to focus more on the user experience side of things, but there is huge potential there in terms of taking the recruitment out of the hands of the projects into a centralized place for the devs. Yes I talk about administration, but given the techies kicking around, I don't see why that administration could be streamlined with technical tools, but it's not something you can take people out of at all.

-Khas
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node_one
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kasyx,

You have formulated this very well and I agree with you on many of the points you have posted. If there is anything I can do to help you, and others interested, realize any of this, post.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to summarize the suggestions for helping us (users) to contribute.
  • The "how to contribute" information must be more visible and centralized. For example, a visible "Contribute" link in the Gentoo web site could bring us to a page where we could learn all we have to learn to contribute (e.g. almost everything is in User Relations page, especially chap 5, but for now there is neither a link to this page from the home page nor from the top menu).
  • In the same way, the "how to join" information could be more visible and centralized. Maybe it is voluntary as Gentoo devs only want to talk to really motivated people... and you must be really motivated to find this information. For now, most of these informations are in two different pages : Recruiters page and Staffing needs page. Only the second one is accessible from the left menu and I believe that something like "Join us" would be more eye-catchy than "Staffing needs".
  • A "Community Support" team could make the "glue" between Gentoo devs, users, forums, doc, Bugzilla... (all community resources = devs resources + users resources). I wonder if this is not already the goal of the Gentoo Public Relations project and its User Relations subproject.

I don't keep other suggestions about recruitment because I think this should be a discussion between devs. However, we'll have to talk directly to devs to give them our suggestions.
So now :
  • Where do we send our suggestions ? If we follow what is in the user relations page, we have to send an email to userrel@gentoo.org or the gentoo-userrel mailing list, or find them in #gentoo-userrel on irc.freenode.net.
  • What do we send ? I can send this summary (with more descriptions, of course) and give the link of this thread, but as you can see, my english writing is not very good, so maybe someone else could do better. Anyway, I can (and probably will) do it , but something well written may be more efficient, I guess.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kasyx,

Good post and you have hit the nail on the head with regards techie organisation.
Techies in general don't in general make good managers/administratiors because they are not interested in that sort of thing.
Look at the history of the Gentoo Foundation Inc. to see evidence for that. Its a purely admin body staffed by developers.

The other side of the coin is that people with admin sklls are not attracted to the Gentoo project as the developer pool doesn't try to recruit people with admin skills.

Declaration of bias and interest:- Before continuing, readers should be aware that I hold the post of President of the Gentoo Foundation Inc.

At the risk of starting a flamefest, I can see that if the Foundation were to attract admin people who are not yet developers *and* the Gentoo Project and Gentoo Foundation Inc can work more closely together, some of the admin skills could be transferred from the Foundation to the Project. There won't be any overnight changes as its 'human nature' and existing organistaional 'inertia' need to be overcome.
Never the less, the Foundation may be able to help with some of these things.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds great Neddy; it'd be good to see the users' contributions given more positive feedback and usage, eg with the types of stuff being proposed on this thread.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really think that the part with 'users' contributions given more positive feedback' was never a problem. If some actions (not just words spoken) were taken by users - it was usually accepted. One example could be humble myself messing rather freely with KDE4 threads and FAQ in DE on forums. Of course sometimes it's good to know the way how to ask etc... (but you know - it's all for the greater good here).

There is always only one problem - someone has to do the actual job. As no one can force anyone (either from Gentoo Foundation or Gentoo Project) to do everything as no one is being payed - the only way to get some progress is to start acting for myself and start proposing not just ideas but complete solutions. And they are very likely to be implemented when they are seen appropriate.

Kasyx has summarized situation quite accurately (we need more bugwranglers - like KDE herd has lost the only bugwrangler they had and scarabeus being a dev is left alone in managing bugs - "need for bugwranglers" should be mentioned in "we want you" page), zaccret even proposed some semi-complete solutions. Of course they are not fully complete as a goal we would need completely reworked, better designed "Uncle Sam: We Want You!" and the most important - more accessible documents. Putting somewhere on main gentoo site big link "Join us!" or "Get involved!" pointing to http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/staffing-needs/index.xml would be good start (but only start).
NeddySeagoon, is there a possibility to have it implemented like... now? Or there is better idea being discussed?

Of course those it's just a workaround as this page is nowhere near this one - http://www.ubuntu.com/community/participate
I guess Ubuntu is great example how to encourage people to participate and we should rip off those ideas from them.
Gentoo Project 'we want you' page is too hermetic. besides - it really looks like description of internal procedures rather than 'welcome' page for users - whole layout, even just its look is repulsive, sorry :)

So.. to start acting - is anyone interested in creating similar (like Ubuntu one) page ^^^ for Gentoo Project? Maybe it could be organized as a Wiki (later with restricted access) - as Wiki is way easier to edit than those Gentoo's XML's. (maybe even all online Gentoo Documentation project excluding Installation Handbook could be migrated to Wiki to ease maintenance and accessibility in the future).

Myself I have some vision how to clean up and organize forums a bit - categorize them - so far it's easy to get lost and I imagine that moderating is just a pain. Changes (it may be a pain and it should be done somehow to preserve links=backward compatibility) :
- lock Desktop Environments (forever - it would become only for grouping)
- in DE create separate subcategories, one for each environment - separate for Gnome, KDE (maybe separate for KDE3 and KDE4), XFCE etc (+ subcategory Other - just in any case)
- if it's not desirable to MOVE all threads to appropriate subcategory (backward compatibility?) then just lock Desktop Environments and allow posting in desktop subcategories
- the same as above could be applied for more forum categories

Just tell me what you think of it - so I could either start with some complete propositions (related to categorisation) or come up with other idea.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you think the Foundation can help, come and chat to the trustees in #gentoo-trustees, write to the alias, trustees at gentoo dot org or file a bug. Developing ideas on a bug it not a good idea. Try the -project mailing list for that.

You can also come to the next trustees meeting in #gentoo-trustees on November 16th at 19:00 UTC.
The channel will not be moderated provided the meeting follows the agenda. See the channel /topic
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using Gentoo for over 5 years now and have contributed occasionally in the form of answers on forum and a bug report here and there. I've always wanted to contribute more, but couldn't find a way to do more than filing bug reports.

I went through this entire thread and found it echoed some of my own preceptions as well as gave credence to some of the (not so positive) impressions I had with the way Gentoo is been fairing. So, here's my take on this:

The model being used to promote devs is fraught with problems. It requires existing devs to evaluate people who want to contribute and requires new people to prove themselves. Often, technically competent people with only a small chunk of time don't want to go through this kind of initiation rites. I believe this has happened mostly due to the type of scm being used. You can probably guess where this is going, but, just bear with me.

Since the scm requires devs with commit access, you have to approve the "dev" and not the "work". However, if a distributed scm (you guessed it - git ) is used, then the above scenario gets reversed. Each dev can approve the "work" of any contributor and merge it to his/her own repository. Each contribution stands on its own merits and all the effort that went in to all these overlays can be easily incorporated to the main tree.

I came across Daniel Robbins "Metro" yesterday and has since been reading quite a bit about git [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_(software)]. In particular, Linus and Randal's talks were very good starting material for me (although Linus's talk was a bit off-putting at times).

I really believe that can solve a lot of problems that Gentoo is facing. There is a significant number of people who don't want to go through the hassle of becoming a dev, but want to contribute nontheless. A good case in point was illustrated in this thread itself (I think). Someone wanted to update the content in gentoo.org web, and when he offered, the answer was "you're not getting commit access (wink)". What a moronic way to respond! If it was me, I would have interpreted it as "Nice try bud. Go screw your self. We won't let you touch our precious web page". The end result is that he got pissed off and went away. This could have easily been avoided had they used a distributed scm as there would have been no need to beg for commit access.

Just my $.02.

Sam
PS: Not all problems can be solved with technology. But I really believe that the current technology (scm) encourages strife while a distributed scm promotes individual excellence.


Last edited by sam_i_am on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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yngwin
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are most likely going to move from cvs to git. It is currently being tested. See the gentoo-scm mailinglist for discussion on that.
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sam_i_am
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is great to hear! I guess all that typing was for nothing :)
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desultory
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reavertm wrote:
If some actions (not just words spoken) were taken by users - it was usually accepted. One example could be humble myself messing rather freely with KDE4 threads and FAQ in DE on forums. Of course sometimes it's good to know the way how to ask etc... (but you know - it's all for the greater good here).
You found a need, you undertook to satisfy it and you seem to know what you are doing, all told a fairly good way to ensure your contribution would be considered seriously, even be accepted in its entirety. That principle has applications well beyond the forums.
reavertm wrote:
So.. to start acting - is anyone interested in creating similar (like Ubuntu one) page ^^^ for Gentoo Project? Maybe it could be organized as a Wiki (later with restricted access) - as Wiki is way easier to edit than those Gentoo's XML's. (maybe even all online Gentoo Documentation project excluding Installation Handbook could be migrated to Wiki to ease maintenance and accessibility in the future).
That is presently being considered.
reavertm wrote:
Myself I have some vision how to clean up and organize forums a bit - categorize them - so far it's easy to get lost and I imagine that moderating is just a pain. Changes (it may be a pain and it should be done somehow to preserve links=backward compatibility) :
- lock Desktop Environments (forever - it would become only for grouping)
- in DE create separate subcategories, one for each environment - separate for Gnome, KDE (maybe separate for KDE3 and KDE4), XFCE etc (+ subcategory Other - just in any case)
- if it's not desirable to MOVE all threads to appropriate subcategory (backward compatibility?) then just lock Desktop Environments and allow posting in desktop subcategories
- the same as above could be applied for more forum categories

Just tell me what you think of it - so I could either start with some complete propositions (related to categorisation) or come up with other idea.
In my opinion reorganizing Desktop Environments by which desktop environment is in use is not worth the effort, both from the perspective of actually doing the reorganization and the perspective of using that section of the forums afterward. Due, at least in part, to the purpose of the section being support for everything used in or as a desktop environment not just the formal desktop environments like KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, enlightenment and such but also things like using konqueror under fvwm and random problems with firefox.
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steveL
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reavertm wrote:
I really think that the part with 'users' contributions given more positive feedback' was never a problem. If some actions (not just words spoken) were taken by users - it was usually accepted. One example could be humble myself messing rather freely with KDE4 threads and FAQ in DE on forums. Of course sometimes it's good to know the way how to ask etc... (but you know - it's all for the greater good here).

There is always only one problem - someone has to do the actual job. As no one can force anyone (either from Gentoo Foundation or Gentoo Project) to do everything as no one is being payed - the only way to get some progress is to start acting for myself and start proposing not just ideas but complete solutions. And they are very likely to be implemented when they are seen appropriate.

That's your experience and that's cool, good for you; it's not been mine, and I've heard lots of other users complain about similar issues.

Quote:
Kasyx has summarized situation quite accurately (we need more bugwranglers - like KDE herd has lost the only bugwrangler they had and scarabeus being a dev is left alone in managing bugs - "need for bugwranglers" should be mentioned in "we want you" page), zaccret even proposed some semi-complete solutions. Of course they are not fully complete as a goal we would need completely reworked, better designed "Uncle Sam: We Want You!" and the most important - more accessible documents. Putting somewhere on main gentoo site big link "Join us!" or "Get involved!" pointing to http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/staffing-needs/index.xml would be good start (but only start).

Well I proposed something similar a while back, and the "participate page" has been discussed on these forums a few times: good luck with it.

Again, you're posting technical 'visions' for what are not technical problems; there are plenty of methods for users to communicate with developers; the problem is what happens when they do, which often puts people off contributing, including users who work in computing or electronics, as well as broader IT. We deal with crap all day, we don't want to do it in our free time; it's also incredibly disheartening to put a lot of work in, that you know is needed, only for it to get snubbed.

I'm hopeful things are changing, but just because you had good experiences, that doesn't invalidate other people's bad experiences.
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reavertm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking of sending GLEP proposal related to changing the wokflow involving the developers and wranglers, but first some discussion.
Basic ideas would be:

- creating three-layer structure with bug wranglers, herd-testers, developers

- lower requirements for bug wranglers - requiring only good social skills, basic gentoo/bugzilla knowledge and a bit of free time - they would have bugzilla R/W access, they would be communicating directly via email/IRC with developers and herd testers - informing them about new bugs, asking them about hot to handle particular bug (whether to close it as invalid, duplicate, etc, whey they felt confident enough, they wouldn't need to ask, but then again - asking usually doesn't hurt)
This way - 'non techies' would be invited to contribution, having bugwrangling powers they would feel involved enough. Ideal total number of bug wranglers would be at least twice as number of developers - to address bugzilla issues faster. Redundancy in bugwranglers is also imporant - the more of them - the less time they would need to spend individually to keep bugzilla manageable and maintain rapid response.
It's advised for bugwranglers to be informally associated with particular Gentoo project (like KDE bugwranglers, Gnome bugwranglers, Java bugwranglers) - this is related to "basic knowledge" requirement - it's better to take care of something I like, use and I'm oriented in.

- keep requirements and granted rights for herd testers (or wannabe-devs, likelytobe-devs) as they are now - so access to official testing overlay, bugwrangling powers but still no direct access to Portage tree

- keep requirements and granted rights for developers
The only difference is the developers would be freed from unpleasant for them and time consuming duty of managing bugs. Of course the developers would be still in possesion of their bugzilla rights.

Typical workflow scenario:
- user files a bug, or discusses his/her problem on forum
- bugwrangler who accidentaly reads forum or just any other user helps him state the problem if necessary - if it hasn't been done before - the bug is created
- bugwranglers receives notification about new bug and address them (duplicate, invalid)
- if bug needs more indepth knowledge - bugwrangles pokes developers/HT-testers he works with and asks them about it and acts as advised
- if developer solves some issue - he/she informs his/her bugwranglers about it via favourite way (mail, IRC, or maybe some global #gentoo-wranglers channel) and bugwranglers related to this gentoo project tries to synchronize those changes with bugzilla (closing bugs etc)

Pros:
- 'non-techies' involved in Gentoo
- developers have more time to take care of the projects they participate in (less mail reading/writing related to bugzilla) - so they are likely to deliver faster things that users usually expect them to (faster arch stabilization, new revbumps, split ebuilds, Gentoo enhancements etc). So far users tend to blame developers for lazyness, which usually is not the cause of the delay
- faster addressing of bugs and no longer hundreds of bugs open forever

Cons:
- as bugwranglers may now be "in charge" as giving assessments to developers (a'ka "Who the hell is he to tell me that this bug has been commented 100 times and would need to be fixed asap. I will decide whether I do it or not!") it may cause some possible problems with developers who cease to cooperate this way (good social skills is a requirement for bugwranglers)
- higher information flow between wranglers<->devs and wranglers<->ht's (so far - when we treat wranglers as users - apart from IRC - there's no such flow)

One note - I don't want to force new policy, but allow new policy for the ones who may see it fit (like KDE herd with over 400 bugs to resolve).
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