[maemo-developers] How to destroy your community

From: Jeff Moe moe at blagblagblag.org
Date: Wed Jan 20 20:04:37 EET 2010
On Tuesday 19 January 2010 12:39:39 Murray Cumming wrote:
> On Tue, 2010-01-19 at 08:43 -0300, Jeff Moe wrote:
> > 
> > I don't have to be here for years to see how things are managed and
> > where the problems are. 
> Things are clearly in progress. It's apparently a move in the right
> direction,

I'm not quite sure they are. Didn't the server just get moved *to* an ISP that can't fix NFS mounts on weekends? What ISP is this?

> even if it's not everything you want. How about letting it
> settle down just a little bit and then calmly suggesting how to avoid
> problems in future.

People have been preaching patience (not just to me, to everyone) since I landed here and before. Why should we be patient? Why can't we demand things work like they do everywhere else? I'm sure google/apple would love for us to be patient for the next 3 years.

> I am sure that Tero and his colleagues would actually like ideas that
> reduce the awkward infrastructure work.

I've already suggested *many* ways for things to be improved:

* Copy Fedora Infrastructure Standard Operating Procedures, in which I track down a Fedora admin to get info, explain how they do things, and give links for more info:

* I also sent a list about the same issue to council, providing more info about how other distros handle such things. (offlist, but the council sent it to the list before checking with me).

* I suggest using mirrors well before the most recent outage. Not only do I suggest it, I go on a actually set up a mirror, fully document how it is done in the maemo.org wiki, and give full root access to a Maemo admin. Later on this mirror is heavily used during a major maemo outage. I also within hours set up two additional mirror servers in distinct data centers:

* Suggest, and write a mini-howto about documenting server changes. It appears the maemo admin team cannot tell when or who has made changes to system configurations (!).

* Wherein I discover that the SDK has been silently changed and suggest that version numbering be used:
This directly lead to this thread about how the SDKs should be set up, which is of course vitally important:

* Suggest moving DNS to someone other than Nokia, due to a major extended DNS outage (IMHO, this should *never* happen). This could be *easily* implemented and would greatly increase reliability of the entire infrastructure:

* Along with all that, I have frequently documented actual outages in what is currently the "proper" place for this. I believe my reports were good--in any case I asked if more info was needed and none was asked for. I even offered SSH access to confirm it.
Note, I haven't documented every single outage I've seen--there have been far more. In fact, *today* many people around the world are still reporting outages on talk.maemo.org.

If I seem a little testy maybe it's because I've been told to be patient for way too long. "Patience" with a server outage should be measured in hours, not months. If maemo doesn't find a way to solve these problems, they will be crushed in the end. A blogger recently pointed out along the lines of "mindshare is the marketshare of the future". Maemo is losing mindshare and developers due to these *continued* problems.

I've seen frequent mentions of how distinct maemo.org is from Nokia. But the reality seems that nothing at Maemo can really happen without Nokia's tacit approval. Is there anyone that has server access that isn't paid (directly or indirectly) by Nokia? Can we start getting the servers admin'd by community admins instead of depending upon Nokia? A first step would be to document (on the *outside/public*) wiki the current server arrangement. Another good step would be to get DNS off their servers. Until that happens, the whole "maemo is distinct from Nokia" is just a façade.

I once sent this analogy to someone:
Nokia built a wonderful hockey stadium, great seats, boxes, huge LCD screens. They gave out free tickets to the the public and a free beer token to adults. The players got new uniforms, clean locker rooms, and top doctors. Then the athletes went to play, but the equipment manager gave them styrofoam hockey sticks. That's basically what we're working with. That equipment manager needs to come up with a solution NOW, because the *GAME IS ON* and Nokia is getting kicked--they're down 20,000 goals (applications) to 110 after the first period.

Impatiently yours,

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