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Re: buildd administration

This is an omnibus reply. Sorry about the thread-breaking, but I'm on yet *another* computer, and I can't seem to find a mailer which respects the In-Reply-To headers from the web pages or lets me add my own.

I would like to note that I have made a practical and *new* suggestion for dealing with some of these problems (contrary to suggestions that I'm just flaming), because nobody's picked up on my idea. From

If they don't think that anyone is skilled or trustworthy enough to help with the work they're already doing


(b) at any rate there is certainly someone skilled and trustworthy enough to act as 'press secretary' for them, collecting all the questions from the outside and returning the answers to the outside!

I haven't heard this suggested before as a means to assist overworked people in key positions with the problem of communication. It would reduce the number of people the overworked people have to communicate with to one, removing the need to explain anything more than once. That one secretary could receive status reports and use them to generate answers for all outside questions, while batching together unanswered questions into groups. In addition, that secretary could provide a contact addresses which is properly advertised -- clearly not a task which requires great trust, but one which does require close contact with the people actually doing the job. Perhaps it would be more acceptable to the people involved than the other suggested alternatives.

It has the virtue of removing some of the need for the people with the key technical skills to also be the people with the key social skills.

I'm sure there are people who will volunteer for this role. I will volunteer, since I certainly have the motivation, but I don't really have the right temperment for it, or all of the right set of social skills (though I do have a few skills in that area, believe it or not), and I might be an unpopular choice. The overworked people should clearly be allowed to choose their own "press secretaries" from among the volunteers.

In response to something someone quoted that I wrote a while back: yes, I should have found a better way of dealing with people who are behaving idiotically than insulting them. I constantly try to find better ways. I would expect that everyone should try to do that (after all, all of us behave like idiots sometimes, me certainly included, and I had been behaving idiotically by insulting people). That quote actually demonstrates that I do *not* think that insulting people is effective. Pity, since I'm so naturally good at insulting people in ways which really get under their skin (really useless skill, but there you are ;-/ ).

Regarding specific points.

The scripts at www.buildd.net are clearly better at presenting the information than the ones at buildd.debian.org (yes, it's mostly the same information, but presentation matters). I agree that their source code should be made publicly available, and it's a bad thing that they aren't. :-P Ingo, could you fix that?

The 'status leds' for the buildds, together with the admin information for each buildd, is a valuable addition beyond what's present on buildd.debian.org, and if done properly would eliminate lots of "what's wrong with the foo-arch buildds?" questions. It's sort of half-present, with occasionally inaccurate admin info, at the moment, which renders it less useful, but that would be fixed purely by cooperation.

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