[maemo-developers] How to destroy your community

From: Jeff Moe moe at blagblagblag.org
Date: Wed Jan 20 23:54:53 EET 2010
On Wednesday 20 January 2010 18:17:30 Jeremiah Foster wrote:
> 	1. Maemo.org DNS should probably be on physically separate networks, with redundant servers worldwide. DyDNS can do this cheaply, there were other suggestions as well.

Yes, would be very nice. Then the admins wouldn't have to wait for Nokia to make the changes (which appear to be very slow) and could just do it themselves directly. With DirectNIC (and likely most others), you can even set the TTL in a *web form*. So days in advance the TTL could be set to one hour, so in worst case that would be the longest people would keep stale data in their caches. Click click! Done.

> 	2. The maemo.org repositories should be mirrored in the free software community at places like Ibiblio or similar, to provide a measure of redundancy.

Yes. First step in this is to set up an rsync server. I have a sample config here:

I also think that database dumps (say weekly) should be done of the wiki and be available for download. I can dig up a SQL command (e.g. that leaves out user/pass info) if you want. This way others can make backups and then it could also be used with (the very cool) offline mediawiki viewer evopedia.

Basically, if infrastructure data can be put in an easily downloadable format for copying, it should be. The more copies downloaded, the better. :)

> 	3. Whatever ISP is chosen to host the site should feel like a stakeholder in the success of the maemo community. They should feel motivated for things to work 24/7. 

Definitely. /me takes third swing: and just who is this ISP right now? I know akamai is in the picture, but apparently someone else is hosting the main part (e.g. the NFS/SAN ISP). I wouldn't even go as far as say they should be a "stakeholder", they just need to provide industry standard quality. Any ISP that isn't "motivated" 24/7 should be dropped. I think one extended outage of the nature we saw over the weekend is enough even (e.g. the hunt for a new ISP should begin immediately).

> 	4. The community should be allowed to help with the infrastructure. Perhaps some services should be entirely released to the community? Or maybe start using community resources like the SuSE OBS? 

The first part of this would be to document what is there already. Also, document the current procedures (publicly--the IRC logs seem to indicate there is an internal Nokia wiki with this info). I have a feeling if the server move procedures had been public, lots of good suggestions would have been made by the various sysadmins on this list (e.g. it appears they didn't even think about changing DNS TTLs--surely many on this list would have caught that). We apparently have people on this list who have managed projects even larger than Maemo--their experience should clearly be leveraged. "Many eyeballs make all bugs shallow" applies here too.

> 	5. Greater communication and transparency from the maemo staff. 

Definitely. Each move needs to be announced somewhere. For developer issues (e.g. the builder, anything to do with SSH keys, etc.), this list seems an appropriate place. For another announcements (e.g. the server move in general) perhaps talk.maemo.org would be best in some stickied thread until the move is over. Qaiku I think is about the worst place, as for anyone to followup they need to get yet another account and there isn't really a good mechanism for discussion in short "tweets". One excellent ISP I use has a dedicated list to this--for example see:

Also, perhaps I'm missing it, but it seems really hard to even figure out who the maemo staff is. Perhap I'm missing the obvious wiki page with this info (ala http://wiki.maemo.org/People ). Who is the paid maemo staff?

Sincerely, your unpaid paying customer,

-Jeff Moe
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