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Re: Should we improve our (internal) communication?


On 2009-07-16, Sandro Tosi <morph@debian.org> wrote:
> today ries (aka ftp-master) was down due to a scheduled maintenance activity.

more or less scheduled, as already stated.

> Now, scheduled means programmed, and suddenly this question comes to
> me: should the project be notified of such core activities? should we
> only relay on #debian-devel irc channel topic to know this?

Interestingly that is even mirrored to a public location[1], especially as
downtimes at short notice have in the past been put there.  While I agree
that they could have mailed d-i-a I, for myself, don't deem that necessary
for such a short outage.

DSA regularly update ries with new kernels and notice ries interactive
users sufficiently ahead, so I have nothing to complain in this regard.
(It's mostly on IRC, true, but for the current userbase that seems to be
sufficient because we're there when/while working.)

> ries is not a barely used machine, it's the one of our fundamental
> servers, and it went down without notification (to my knowledge, or at
> least to a wide audience).

I tend to differ.  Of course it's heavly used interactively by both
FTP and release team, but well, leaning back for half an hour also
does some good, right?

There are (to my knowledge) three services served from that machine that
the public could access: 1) incoming, 2) the upload queue, 3) release
stuff like britney output.  The upload queue was pointed somewhere else,
incoming might be critical for buildds but in general they cope if it
isn't reachable and the latter is partially put onto packages.qa.d.o.

> Other times, when I asked on irc why a given machine when down I often
> have received a reply that sounded like "WTF you want? go and do
> something else and don't bother us", not really encouraging, but I
> moved along.

I suppose you did get an indication why it was down, right?  Maintenance
activity.  So nothing is wrong per se, which is a good sign.  People
are taking care of it.

> Should we improve how we communicate in the project? Shouldn't there
> be more information on what's moving "behind the scenes"? It's just me
> that would like to know it?

I find weasel's reports on what DSA did very interesting in the past.
Granted, they were internal notes put out into the public, but it
gives you some impression of "behind the scenes".

Just my thoughts,
Philipp Kern

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/TopicDebianDevel

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