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Re: buildd administration

On Sat, Dec 10, 2005 at 11:46:50AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 09, 2005 at 10:19:46AM -0500, Daniel Jacobowitz wrote:
> > I'm not saying that this all needs to be publicly logged.  I don't give
> > a rat's ass whether it is or not.  But please don't stand there saying
> > that the process is completely transparent.
> I don't believe I said that. I don't believe it's remotely fair to set
> the standard at the unreachable level of perfection, either.

You said that the logs tell you what the buildd admins are doing with
the buildd.  I disagree.

> The major task of buildd maintenance (aiui) is handlings logs though,
> and that's certainly what was being complained about earlier. I'd
> be interested to see you name an area that's had anything like the
> transparency w-p provides the build process though. I guess there's
> britney, which gives public logs of what's going on, but also requires
> a degree of handholding every now and then that isn't particularly logged.

The majority of "handling" logs is monkeywork - very easy, mostly
automated.  The main jobs of the buildd admin are to (A) provide a
human sanity check on what's getting built successfully; I am and
always have been somewhat dubious of the value of this, even when I was
doing it; and (B) doing something about the failures.

What buildd.debian.org logs is the output of the sbuild runs.  We
have great visibility into what _sbuild_ is doing.  But what the
_buildd admin_ is doing is, by and large, taking care of the failures:
whether that means dep-waiting them, filing bugs because of them,
poking anything obscure that caused the buildd environment to get
broken (e.g. when a package fails to uninstall, or a broken package
fills the disk with logs).  This stuff doesn't get logged, nor would it
be particularly easy to log.

The current buildd admins don't seem to be very responsive about filing
bugs for the failures; they tend to sit for rather a long time unless
porters, or package maintainers, go out and stare at the logs on their
own.  But my sample size for this last bit is small, so take it with a
grain of salt.

I don't think that the human step of signing the successful logs has
any value nowadays.  The closest a human can go to checking the volume
of mail a buildd produces is running it through some clever procmail
filters, anyway.  Or reading through any logs that strike them as
particularly interesting.  I don't have handy stats about the volume of
mail produced by the buildd anymore, but voltaire's currently pumping
out about eighty thousand lines a day over the last week and a half, if
I'm looking at the right logs.

Daniel Jacobowitz
CodeSourcery, LLC

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