[maemo-developers] How to destroy your community

From: Nathan Anderson nathan at andersonsplace.net
Date: Wed Jan 20 22:44:42 EET 2010

	I would totally side with Jeff on this one -- the whole
infrastructure has been a issue for a while.   I do NOT see the primary
issues getting any better.  Sure the servers seems to be faster; but
obviously the load needs more people to be able to handle it in a timely

	The consistent servers issues have caused me a whole lot of grief.
And I really, really hate having to post; "the package is done, but the
autobuilders are down" or "the package was built; but the autobuilders
aren't moving it into extras-devel" or it is in "extras-devel" but I can't
promote it to testing.   All three which I have had to write several times
in the last couple weeks and most of them the issues persisted > 48 hours!
That's not even counting the myriad of other issues that are caused by the
servers and/or the move.   

	The problem is I believe that "we" (the users and developers) did
have realistic expectations.  "A fairly seamless move between servers".   I
have moved a large community (Larger than Maemo is) between servers; and I
wasn't down more than 20 minutes on some services -- and that was because I
double checked certain thing manually just to make sure I didn't loose any
messages on the high volume board -- since I allowed posting to continue up
until the very last second, before I had it switch to the other server in
the other facility.  I even made sure that DNS had a temporary address for
the new server; so that the old server could redirect to the new dns address
if people still had the old dns somehow in their cache.   I can't say I had
any complaints at all about the move, most people probably didn't even
realize it had happened (besides everything going way faster).

  I've also setup completely new servers to be a mirror of another very
large site (also larger than Maemo), with identical content and wasn't down
at all.   These are realistically done, with little or NO down time.   I
never told my customers; oh sorry -- we choose an isp that sucks, can't do
anything about it, wait a couple days and it might be working again for most
of your users.  I made sure my customers knew up front about any thing that
could be an issue.  That way if it was an issue; they knew about it -- but
because of planning; none of them actually turned into issues.

   If there are problems to be expected; PRE-post about them, so that all
the expectations are set realistically.    For instance, take people having
to discover that they have to move their git, svn, or even dput AFTER the
fact; what a pita.  It really should have been PRE-posted to the list:
"Hey, we had issues getting the old svn address working; you will be forced
to change it to xyz.mameo.org"  It never should have been some poor person
attempt to svn commit and get a redirect error message, and having to ask
the list what is up.   

The problem that Jeff presents is that Maemo for all practical purposes is
Nokia and the team is acting as such.  I see no such accountability to the
users of Maemo who rely on these services.  I have no doubt they (the web
team) are doing their job; it is just they apparently report to Nokia and
not Maemo.  So, we sure as hell have no idea what is going on until we ask:
Why is x not working; and then later get back the response; yeah that is
known -- it might be fixed later. 

	 If they had done any due diligence; they would have either known it
would take a couple days to get things smooth again and pre-posted this to
the group, tmo and setup a wiki page with status on each service.   Or, they
would have done the transference in a much, much more seamless manner, i.e.
move over each service one at a time pre-test then redirect dns for just
that service.   Yes, some smaller issues may have occurred; but this move
has been a disaster and I would say a decent case study in how _not_ to move
a community to new servers.


-----Original Message-----
From: maemo-developers-bounces at maemo.org
[mailto:maemo-developers-bounces at maemo.org] On Behalf Of Dave Neary
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:55 PM
To: Jeff Moe
Cc: maemo-developers at maemo.org
Subject: Re: How to destroy your community


Jeff Moe wrote:
> 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 guess that the problem is that you "demand" rather than request.


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