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Should the Gentoo Foundation pay someone to update FGO phpBB?
Yes (why hasn't it been done last century)
32%
 32%  [ 8 ]
No (waste of money)
28%
 28%  [ 7 ]
No (i can do the job for free)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Whatever (google supplies all the search functionality i need for FGO)
40%
 40%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 25

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eMPee584
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: please very much excuse my language BUT.. Reply with quote

how the bloody FSCK can it be that a linux distro that has a vast amount of able followers, including many experienced developers hacking day and night, that this forum (amongst all other issues...) has still no 'search titles' option? So yeah there has been discussion about updating the forum software since years. Well - it has brought no fruit to my knowledge. How hard can it be for a herd of talented hackers to get these boards up to date? Shame on you, gent0o collective - shame on you... :evil:
i once took the time and downloaded the FGO customized and virgin phpBB sources (2.0.23) and compared them with kdiff3. This is not an incredible complex task. It's just a matter of putting in some effort to apply customizations still justified and migrate features that have a comparable equivalent in the upstream version. Really an experienced PHP programmer should be able to get the job done in about a week or so. Why does the Gentoo Foundation not hire someone to do this task? It's such a waste of time and nerves, seriously.
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scaught
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for volunteering! Your efforts will be appreciated by many, I'm sure.
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disi
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I have no problem with the forum itself, check here for example. All you need is a proper search index, I am not sure if this is worth a whole forums upgrade.
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zyko
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd volunteer.

However, migrating a forum is a security-sensitive issue, so the responsible forum admins aren't likely to give this project to anyone outside the develper/staffer team. We'll probably just have to wait until the forum admins find the time to do it themselves.
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eMPee584
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:50 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

zyko wrote:
We'll probably just have to wait until the forum admins find the time to do it themselves.

well for how long? weeks? months? years? This is an embarrassing situation for the top-most all-out sophisticated DIY linux distro.. We would probably all benefit quite some from a more workflow-supportive infrastructure - and heck, if this is not enough itch to any single person within the community - wouldn't it be the foundation's job to handle it?
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Mike Hunt
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really quite bizarre since there is already exactly that. Though it is title and message body. Isn't that close enough?
  • Search topic title and message text
  • Search message text only
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StringCheesian
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Hunt wrote:
This is really quite bizarre since there is already exactly that. Though it is title and message body. Isn't that close enough?
  • Search topic title and message text
  • Search message text only

Not really. Sometimes including message text in the search pollutes the results with all sorts of unrelated threads.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eMPee584,

1. Its not the Foundations job to update the forums - I say that as a trustee of the Gentoo Foundation Inc
2. Nobody is going to put any work into PHPBB-2. Its not supported upstream any more.
3. Google search works quite well. Add site:forums.gentoo.org to your search term.

Of course, bug reports with patches are always welcome - thats how many members of the gentoo community took the first step to becoming developers.
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CurtE
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm missing the problem? I've had to upgrade my phpbb forum on my site and it hasn't taken days to do it. Is there a lot of add-ons to this forum to create a problem?

If you're installing phpbb 3.0.6, you should be able to install it under a different name, copy the current forum to it and then, after it's tested, re-direct it.

What part of this am I confused on?
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timeBandit
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: please very much excuse my language BUT.. Reply with quote

In addition to NeddySeagoon's remarks...

eMPee584 wrote:
i once took the time and downloaded the FGO customized and virgin phpBB sources (2.0.23) and compared them with kdiff3. This is not an incredible complex task.
No, it is not--but it is less than half of the problem. You looked at the differences between vanilla phpBB 2 and Gentoo phpBB 2. You did not consider the differences between phpBB 2 and 3--in particular, the database schema.

Besides the code, the database must be upgraded, along with any/all ancillary code, scripts, tools, gadgetry and in-house mojo we have that are used to maintain said database. From what I understand (I've followed this situation a bit over the years but am unable to roll up my sleeves and pitch in), there are some sticking points, not least of which is the Herculean task of migrating the database itself to the new layout.

The present size of the forums database is approximately 19.5 GB. Barring a sudden outbreak of disinterest, we will pass five million posts before Christmas. The sheer size complicates an upgrade somewhat. There was also some discussion on whether we should seize the opportunity to perform some unrelated housekeeping and cleanup during the upgrade, and if so, what that would entail.

All in all there was quite a bit of work done behind the scenes in the past 6-12 months. However, people get busy, other projects intervene and generally the biggest jobs take longer than we'd all like.

In the interim, it is rather easy to locate additional information on this oft-discussed topic.
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zyko
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TimeBandit, NeddySeagoon. Some constructive criticism:

It appears to me that there is a general culture of what I like to call bradytrophic inefficiency within parts of Gentoo's developer team. Some projects obviously have no meaningful development at all (newsletter, website, to a lesser extent documentation, forums) -- and nobody within the existing staff seems to consider themselves responsible to work towards ameliorating these problems, i.e. motivate progress, recrute new staffers, communicate with the community, negotiate contributions from non-developers. Statements like "Its not the Foundations job to update the forums" illustrate this point.

Quote:
Of course, bug reports with patches are always welcome [...]


Of course they are ;)
However, it is my impression that many active members of the community have become frustrated by Gentoo's development scheme, which imposes a strict separation between developers and non-developers and discourages external contributions. Non-developers aren't likely to spontaneously provide solutions unless somebody within in the Gentoo staff actually communicates with them, provides organisation and asigns concrete tasks. Nobody is willing to provide work without being integrated into Gentoo's organisational infrastructure, even if this integration doesn't imply officially becoming a developer. At this point, the social dynamics in the community require you (the staffers and developers) to significantly facilitate contributions.

I've seen many attempts of users (including myself) to get in touch with developers and offer help. Those users expect some sort of guidance. Usually, those users are either ignored, discouraged or expected to just come up with solutions all by themselves. It doesn't work like that anymore. If you want the community to get involved, welcome them, help them, motivate them, integrate them.
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aidanjt
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zyko wrote:
...

You hit the nail square on the head.
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timeBandit
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I accept the criticism and concede that inefficiency is a valid concern, your supporting arguments contain two invalid premises.

zyko wrote:
It appears to me ... nobody within the existing staff seems to consider themselves responsible to work towards ameliorating these problems, .... Statements like "Its not the Foundations job to update the forums" illustrate this point.
That statement is literal truth, neither supporting nor contradicting your analysis. The Foundation exists to separate bureaucracy from development.
The Gentoo Foundation Charter wrote:
[T]he Gentoo Foundation will:
  • protect the use of the Gentoo trademark and logo
  • protect the developed code, documentation, artwork and other material through copyright and licenses
  • sponsor Gentoo-related conferences and technical development resources
  • oversee development so it adheres to the social contract
Emphasis and link added. The Foundation as an entity has no authority over any other aspect of the development process. "Sponsor ... development resources" does not subsume contracted software development. This is the basis for NeddySeagoon's statement.

Quote:
Gentoo's development scheme ... imposes a strict separation between developers and non-developers and discourages external contributions.
In some cases, with good reason. Upgrading the forums requires access to Gentoo infrastructure servers, via shell accounts with more than minimal permissions. Only qualified Gentoo developers and staff are granted that access, period. Though offers of help from well-intentioned and eager community members is appreciated, there is little a non-developer can do, except perhaps file bugs if a public test environment is created.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zyko,

I'll take the time to make a point by point response.

zyko wrote:
It appears to me that there is a general culture of what I like to call bradytrophic inefficiency within parts of Gentoo's developer team. Some projects obviously have no meaningful development at all (newsletter, website, to a lesser extent documentation, forums)

I don't dispute your perception. I cannot speak for newsletter, website and documentation but the forums are looking at moving to PHPBB-3, thats not something most users would be aware of. timeBandit outlined the issues there.

zyko wrote:
and nobody within the existing staff seems to consider themselves responsible to work towards ameliorating these problems, i.e. motivate progress, recrute new staffers, communicate with the community, negotiate contributions from non-developers.
Gentoo is a purely volunteer effort, which means people contribute where their interests lie. There are very few developers with organisational skills (or the will to exercise them) which is why the Gentoo Foundation Inc fell into bad standing about two years ago.

zyko wrote:
NeddySeagoon wrote:
Its not the Foundations job to update the forums
illustrate this point.

Err. No. The Foundation exists for
Quote:
The Corporation is organized and at all times shall be operated, on a non-profit basis exclusive far the advancement and education and promotion of software development in an open environment.
See the Foundation Charter article III. As I trustee, I could not endorse allocating funds to fix the Gentoo Forum search facility. It would be stretching the purpose a little far. You can find the original of that link on a New Mexico state operated website.

zyko wrote:
However, it is my impression that many active members of the community have become frustrated by Gentoo's development scheme, which imposes a strict separation between developers and non-developers and discourages external contributions.
I don't share that view. Are you aware of the sunrise overlay?
Thats an overlay that users may commit to after code reviews by developers. Many contributors there go on to become developers themselves. Of course, this overlay is mainly code, we don't get many people with management skills joining throgh that route.

I'll go off topic for a few seconds. Gentoo has about 300 developers, whose average age is about 19. That means that very few developers have any management skills at all. Developers are drawn from two main groups. Young people at school or in further education with no family commitments and a smattering of older people with grown up families. I am from the latter group and I deploy my management skills for gentoo as a Foundation trustee.

zyko wrote:
Non-developers aren't likely to spontaneously provide solutions unless somebody within in the Gentoo staff actually communicates with them, provides organisation and asigns concrete tasks.
I get 3 or 4 approaches a year from users who want to give something back to Gentoo but don't know how. I put them in touch with the teams that match their interests. I presume other developers get a similar number of approaches.

zyko wrote:
Nobody is willing to provide work without being integrated into Gentoo's organisational infrastructure, even if this integration doesn't imply officially becoming a developer.
I'm not really sure what this means but I can point to bug reports with patches and unsolicited ebuilds to show how contributors are providing work without any integration into Gentoo's organisational infrastructure at all.

zyko wrote:
I've seen many attempts of users (including myself) to get in touch with developers and offer help. Those users expect some sort of guidance. Usually, those users are either ignored, discouraged or expected to just come up with solutions all by themselves. It doesn't work like that anymore. If you want the community to get involved, welcome them, help them, motivate them, integrate them.
I'm not aware of any contributors being ignored or turned away. Like I have already said, I (personlly) try to facilitate that contact when users approach me.

Recruiting is a time consuming process both for the new recruit, the team they will join and the recruiters. Gentoo expects a new contributor to show some staying power before that investment is made. Likewise, many contributors do not want to become developers - they are happy with being proxy maintainers. That works for Gentoo too.

Reading between the lines on your post, I think it can be summed up as Gentoo lacks management effort. Thats a view I share. However, gentoo is primarily a coding project. There are few other routes to becoming a developer. Forums moderator, document team member, PR team member and most recently, Gentoo Foundation Inc officer are all that come to mind. I'm at a loss how to get more organisers involved in Gentoo.
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