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Slalomsk8er
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Problems at Gentoo Discussion Reply with quote

As promised in my post http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-4721372.html#4721372 at Should the Gentoo trustees accept Daniel Robbins offer?, here is a thread to discuss the problems, there history and possible solutions and refine it in to the wiki page at http://gentoo-wiki.com/Problems_at_Gentoo.

Let the dance begin.

Ps: mods can I have 2 or more of your eyes as it could be getting hot in here - thanks.
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think4urs11
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Problems at Gentoo Discussion Reply with quote

Slalomsk8er wrote:
Ps: mods can I have 2 or more of your eyes as it could be getting hot in here - thanks.

our eyes are everywhere, always ;)
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AllenJB
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please keep discussions off the wiki - it's for documentation, not community discussions. See my post in the Daniel Robbins thread for further comments.

There used to be a specific forum for discussion of things people thought could be done to improve Gentoo - the userreps project forum. Unfortunately it wasn't used that much and the userreps project died for various reasons and the forum was removed (all its posts were moved to the chat forum). However, there is still its parent project, userrel to help fullfill this function.
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Last edited by AllenJB on Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Slalomsk8er
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AllenJB wrote:
Please keep discussions off the wiki - it's for documentation, not community discussions. See my post in the Daniel Robbins thread for further comments.


Thanks for your comment, I will mind your advice and try to keep the discussion in this thread and only post the results of the discussion to the wiki page in the formal formating I proposed.
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bmichaelsen
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem: Devs, Timelines and Communication
why the problem exists: gentoo's leadership is lead by devs selected by devs. Those leader tend to have great technical merit but often lack in organisational skills (timelines, priorities). This sometimes results in taking no (visible) action until a near perfect solution is produced. This is a good for the long therm design of systems, but sometimes a using a "good enough" solution is better than none or a near perfect solution that arrives much later.
proposed solution: seperate the technical leadership from the organisational. Trustees, PR, DevRel, UserRel face tasks that are no good match for the skillset of an average gentoo dev geek (no offensive, I am not too well suited either). (see http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-4718339.html#4718339 for the origin of the idea).

Starting points for gentoo:
Donnie Berkholz, gentoo dev himself, blogged some awesome stuff about leadership and project management
Agile Project Management: This book (or some equivalent) should be a required read for anyone taking a any leadership position in gentoo.
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Last edited by bmichaelsen on Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Slalomsk8er
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you bmichaelsen this is a good point I in my view and offers the question if we need to handle meta problems in the wiki as this could be seen as a source of the current crisis about the foundation.

Does any one have an idea how to handle meta problems and there sup problems in therms of structure and presentation in the frame of a wiki?
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Nerdanel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now the stickied discussion thread is locked - just as I was about to post to it...

I saw on the wiki page that revdep-rebuild is "broken". Does that mean broken-broken or just that it's strange that such an essential script is not installed by default and not run automatically when needed, such as in the notorious expat case?
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AllenJB
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerdanel wrote:
Now the stickied discussion thread is locked - just as I was about to post to it...

I saw on the wiki page that revdep-rebuild is "broken". Does that mean broken-broken or just that it's strange that such an essential script is not installed by default and not run automatically when needed, such as in the notorious expat case?

Well it's always worked perfectly fine for me, disregarding the odd minor bug. I certainly wouldn't call it a major problem with Gentoo as a whole.
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seesaw
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem: User frustration at the recent developments in Gentoo management
Why the problem exists: There's no alternative to the current Gentoo
Proposed solution: Fork it ASAP
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seesaw wrote:
Problem: User frustration at the recent developments in Gentoo management
Why the problem exists: There's no alternative to the current Gentoo
Proposed solution: Fork it ASAP

Go on then. You run a large OSS project.
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ps
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seesaw wrote:
Problem: User frustration at the recent developments in Gentoo management
Why the problem exists: There's no alternative to the current Gentoo
Proposed solution: Fork it ASAP

Well, I'm a user, but not frustrated at all.
My gentoo box is awesome, and I find all these goings-on exciting and fun.
Obviously there will be some changes at Gentoo, and then my gentoo box will be even awesomer.
Yippeeyayo.
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astinus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ps wrote:
Obviously there will be some changes at Gentoo, and then my gentoo box will be even awesomer.


If you mean the Foundation issues will be resolved, there'll be a Gentoo Monthly Newsletter, and otherwise development will continue as per normal... you'd be right - those are changes ;)

seesaw wrote:
Problem: User frustration at the recent developments in Gentoo management
Why the problem exists: There's no alternative to the current Gentoo
Proposed solution: Fork it ASAP


Go right ahead :) That's why this old horsie is called Open Source.
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Slalomsk8er
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerdanel wrote:
Now the stickied discussion thread is locked - just as I was about to post to it...

I saw on the wiki page that revdep-rebuild is "broken". Does that mean broken-broken or just that it's strange that such an essential script is not installed by default and not run automatically when needed, such as in the notorious expat case?

I was looking at the developer mailing list yesterday and that was one thing that hit my eye.
from http://groups.google.com/group/linux.gentoo.dev/browse_thread/thread/5d4ca636f699d207/795927f153fede2c#795927f153fede2c

Quote:

Quote:
Here is a list of interesting questions: "Are we fine?" "What are we
going to do?"


Quote:
Please project leaders try to reply in short.


tools-portage:

Are we fine? The short answer is no. We need more developers.
Unfortunately, real life work is consuming all of my time and what free
time is left is going to my family. mpagano has started to step up and
work bugs, but we definitely need more help. I am on email and IRC so I
can answer questions and work with any developer who would like to step
up and help (even temporarily).

Marius (genone) stepped down as team lead on December 3rd and asked for
help for the team at that time. I have not seen any reponses to that
request.

What are we going to do?

Due to lack of time and participation, I currently don't have a good
answer for that.

On my short list is to get revdep-rebuild fixed. The current state
leaves much to be desired and while it works for most people, it is
definitely a visible turn off for people when it fails.

Regards,
Paul



This sounded pretty bad for me because it was one of the most important tools if things got wrong for me in the past.

Hope this helps to answer your question.
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bmichaelsen
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things like:
- revdep-rebuild
- the libexpat issue combined with no 2007.1
- http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc61/lolgentoo/gentoo-motivator.jpg,
- no GWN without further notice at all
- PR lead "AWOL" (quote: gentoo-dev mailing list)
- Devs with major projects (OpenRC, Seeds) leaving gentoo
- Stalemates and endless dereferrals on fundamental issues like EAPI/PMS

are just symptoms. Its more important to find the reason for these and fix those.
The symptoms do not really need to get discussed here, if someone has an idea, join those projects, and help there.
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Ibn al-Hazardous
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem: Developers are retiring faster than they respawn
Why the problem exists: No definitive answer at this point.
Proposed solution: Greater care taken of potential devs (currently users). More suggestions appreciated.

Explanation: During the last three weeks only two new devs have joined. During the same time 19 devs have retired (according to this bugzilla search for the time period, I counted only the FIXED bugs). That's an outflow of 17 devs, and if it continues at this rate, it's pretty alarming.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me start off by stating the following is not a criticism of anyone, especially the Dev's. You all have my utmost respect for the work you do.
Gentoo needs leadership. Someone that has the plaque on their desk that states, "The Buck Stops Here." Running an organization like this by committee, ends up as nothing more than a circle jerk. What Gentoo has been lacking is a unity of purpose and direction. I think we know what 90% of the community would like to see happen. In one word: drobbins.
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Slalomsk8er
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bmichaelsen wrote:
Things like:
- revdep-rebuild
...

...
- Stalemates and endless dereferrals on fundamental issues like EAPI/PMS

are just symptoms. Its more important to find the reason for these and fix those.
The symptoms do not really need to get discussed here, if someone has an idea, join those projects, and help there.


Do you have an idea what the reasons for this symptoms are? I would like to list them.
But I think even the more trivial problems like the ones you listed should be listed until they are fixed. That way the wiki page could be a good startig point for people that like fixing stuff even if it could be done with "just" a line of code.
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Ibn al-Hazardous
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bmichaelsen wrote:
Things like:
- revdep-rebuild
- the libexpat issue combined with no 2007.1
- http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc61/lolgentoo/gentoo-motivator.jpg,
- no GWN without further notice at all
- PR lead "AWOL" (quote: gentoo-dev mailing list)
- Devs with major projects (OpenRC, Seeds) leaving gentoo
- Stalemates and endless dereferrals on fundamental issues like EAPI/PMS

are just symptoms. Its more important to find the reason for these and fix those.
The symptoms do not really need to get discussed here, if someone has an idea, join those projects, and help there.


A doctor who can find a cure without looking at the symptoms is a rather unusual one. Looking at these symptoms (combined with the general outflow of devs) screams lack of leadership to me. Joining all of those projects won't do any good, even joining one of them doesn't look very appealing with the current lack of vision. If we do discuss the problems though, someone might come up with something bright that'd restore the sense of having a vision. Then, maybe I'd try to join a project.

Still and all, why are you telling us not to discuss?
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bmichaelsen
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ibn al-Hazardous wrote:
If we do discuss the problems though, someone might come up with something bright that'd restore the sense of having a vision. Then, maybe I'd try to join a project.

Lets find a vision an a roadmap for gentoo.

Quote:
Still and all, why are you telling us not to discuss?

I just fear this becoming a thread were people start posting patches to revdep-rebuild etc.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem: unfriendly devs/people / socially unqualified devs/people
Why the problem exists: ???
Proposed solution: create a new codex for devs / people in general who want to work @gentoo and enforce it (we need a leader / council for that: in one word: drobbins (?))
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kernelOfTruth wrote:
Problem: unfriendly devs/people / socially unqualified devs/people
Why the problem exists: ???
Proposed solution: create a new codex for devs / people in general who want to work @gentoo and enforce it (we need a leader / council for that: in one word: drobbins (?))


http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/council/coc.xml :?:
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kernelOfTruth wrote:
Problem: unfriendly devs/people / socially unqualified devs/people
Why the problem exists: ???
Proposed solution: create a new codex for devs / people in general who want to work @gentoo and enforce it (we need a leader / council for that: in one word: drobbins (?))
See above :wink:
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ps
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Problems at Gentoo Discussion Reply with quote

Slalomsk8er wrote:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/Problems_at_Gentoo.

Let the dance begin.

Nice work. Hopefully the thing that is really borking the whole thing will emerge here.

AllenJB wrote:
This issue will be short lived. It will blow over.

Yes it will, as does a big hurricane.
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jonnevers
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem: Users like those posting in this thread and editing that wiki
Why the problem exists: distorted self-entitlement, maybe? an inflated sense of self-worth.
Proposed solution: have them shut their traps and dig in and actually fix issues instead of..... the same old same old.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why I think there aren't enough new developers:

Gentoo devs appear a secretive group that looks down on Gentoo's (often highly computer literate, to the point of being devs themselves elsewhere) normal users instead of being welcoming and tolerant of newbie errors. This makes potential devs feel that they are not wanted and/or would not belong.

That's the appearance from the outside anyway and not meant to refer to any particular person. At one point a couple of years ago I entertained for a short while a thought that I might become a Gentoo dev but decided against it. Now I'm committed to a completely different project.
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