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myuser
Apprentice
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Joined: 31 Jan 2004
Posts: 218

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:53 pm    Post subject: GenBureaucracy Reply with quote

I am just about to purchase my new AMD64 machine, and was having a wander through the ebuilds that have currently been done for the AMD64.

Finding that there were numerous gaps, I thought it might be a worthwile endeavour to help out and write a few ebuilds for some AMD64 packages. I went to checkout the guidelines for development, and found a bureaucratical nightmare. Instead of a laissez faire, technical all pitch in and help attitude there are now:

questionaires to fill in
mentors to find
official lines of complaint

http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/quiz/ebuild-quiz.txt
http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/quiz/staff-quiz.txt

I must admit it did make me chuckle, I was expecting the technical stuff to be at the top, but it is buried at the bottom, the top being reserved for interpersonal issues.

I do particularly love the 'What is the purpose of the gentoo management team?' question; please validate my existence :).

I cannot wait until I find out what 'herds' are.

I think this just encourages people to build ebuilds for themselves, who has the time to run around finding mentors, and filling in questionaires which just stop short of asking you your shoe size.
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playfool
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Joined: 01 Jun 2004
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Location: Århus, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just write and submit ebuilds as a user, using bugzilla.

That's how most people become devs anyways.
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myuser
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That probably is the right attitude.

It is just odd to see empire building going on in a group where there is no profit and is community built.

It also struck me as some form of role playing game; 'visit the green goblin, recite the incantation you learnt from the fairy of the north, and tap six times at the door.'

I notice the person who wrote these quizzes has not bothered to sign them in any fashion, it is probably a practical joke.

It is quite interesting when you start to delve into the Gentoo organizational structure:

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/management-structure.xml

It appears that the Bazaar has been thrown out of the window in favour of the Cathedral structure.

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/

The reasons cited seem to boil down to lack of personal responsibility and the inability to self manage (couched in nicer terminology), with the driving reason of a cathedral structure can produce projects in a shorter time space.

The previous scenario of the chief architect having total responsibility was derived from expectations of developers as opposed to it really being the case.

Whilst the Cathedral structure is a proven form of organizational structure, it is a shame to see the Bazaar structure not working for the Gentoo project, but in all honesty has that structure even been given a chance in this case.


Edit ---

I found out what the herds are :), groups of software projects.

http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/metastructure/herds/herds.xml

Places the choir in the right stalls.
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piffle
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Joined: 14 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Gentoo alot, but I've always found the Gentoo beauracracy to be, at best, silly, and ocassionally, at worst, pompous and too full of itself.
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playfool
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's needed to keep a certain standard, I applaud it - now if they would add a customer relations part to the test as well I would be happy, because some of the devs are just plain rude to users at times.

But I like the fact that they set up rules for joining the crew - it adds to the overall trustworthiness of the project.
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myuser
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>> it's needed to keep a certain standard

What standard? It started off as a bazaar structure and worked quite well.

>>> it adds to the overall trustworthiness of the project

Not sure how it achieves that, if someone higher up the chain breaks trust (injects a trojan into the source) then because of the perceived level of trust the consequences are more dire.

Whereas if people check the hashes or source themselves trust falls amongst all participants. This is what you do in both a flat and hierarchical structure, to establish if all is as well as it should be.

The problem with the hierarchy is it gives a feeling of associated trust which can then be subsequently abused.

Humans have tended to form into Cathedral structures over the ages, mainly for power reasons, and we have learnt how to operate in such structures and rationalize them.

The Bazaar structure was a fresh approach to organizational dealings which hopefully was to throw off the overhead of management, empower the individual with personal responsibility and solve problems in a faster fashion.

Computer systems can be produced in an hierarchical fashion and in fact because of our cultural conditioning we tend to produce and think of them in such a way. But, they can also be produced with a more flexible autonomous nature as well, which is probably a little harder to visualize.
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