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Re: MIPS port backlog, autobuilder machines and some arrogance

On Sat, Nov 15, 2003 at 12:54:18AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 11:34:41AM +0100, Ingo Juergensmann wrote:
> > As some of you know the mips port has some problems keeping up.
> Daniel Stone and I have been trying for months to get feedback regarding
> xfree86 > 4.3.0-0pre1v1 on mips, and we are always met with stony
> silence.

Right. He had the chance to say "No, thx, that backlog is just temporarily
and we solved the backlog and having another machine is not needed" in a
polite way for about a week, but nothing happened. 

> > Everything went well with that machine - until we directed the request to
> > debian-admin to get wanna-build access for mips. The request was rejected
> > with the following reasons (to my knowledge):
> > - another machine is in the works
> Which, of course, will never go down, suffer hardware failure, or have
> its hosting site suffer a power outage or fire.

Right. On m68k we have the most buildd machines and guess what: murphy
looked in some weeks and several buildds went away nearly at the same time
giving a backlog of about >220 packages rather quick. 
Therefor we don't say "Oh my god! We don't need so many buildds because more
machines can fail more often!" but more likely "Hey, the number of packages
is constantly growing, the toolchain is very often giving problems and is
getting slower as well (gcc3.3) and there will always be exists problems
that take machines down. So we appreciate to have even more machines and
have a pool of buildd maintainers as well to help each other!"

> > - we don´t need your machine
> And we never will; see above.

On m68k-build there was a little more discussion about the reasons. See the
webarchive for the list. 
Funny thing is, that every responsible people gives another reason for
rejecting our offer, which make me feel that not the machine is the problem
but that those people want to act alone on their own will and decision. 
The reason that were given there was that having multiple buildd maintainer
will make it hard to work together and it's more simple when a single buildd
maintainer manages all of the buildds for one arch.
a) I think that's not true. m68k shows clearly that this can work and even
is a benefit, because I think that m68k is the most responsive and helpful
archs when maintainers direct questions to the (right ;) list. 
b) When it is a problem for a person to work together with others he clearly
should reconsider his involvment in Debian, because the project is a
cooperate effort and not something where helping hands should be excluded
when they want and are able to help. Although I don't think it's violating
the social contract, I don't think that this behaviour is in the sense of
c) We offered a machine. Maybe it's not the fastest or best equipped right
now but it is usuable. And we didn't insisted of administrating it by our
own, although Wouter wanted to maintain the buildd in order to unburden
Ryan, but when he wanted to take it himself that would be ok as well. 
d) There is a second machine that could be used as buildd, when the new
disks and the memory arrives. All machines would have fixed IP addresses, so
that the machines could even be used as public machines. But the responsible
persons have not asked for either option but simply rejected the idea of
having more machines to help with the backlog without asking for further
information. And that's plain stupid or arrogant. Call it as you want.

> > - you don´t have any knowledge about mips, so the machine wouldn´t be of any
> > help at all.
> It's not like you're an experienced buildd admin, and it's vitally
> important that people who aren't already experts at administrating mips
> buildds not gain that expertise.

It's even more worse! 
I simply cannot be a buildd admin on my own, because I'm not a DD and thus
cannot sign the packages. And to improve the worseness: I understand as much
mips asm as I understand m68k asm: not a single word! 
So, saying I'm not experienced enough on mips also means I cannot run a m68k
buildd, because my knowledge is the same for both archs. ;-)

> > As a result and a sort of protest, I´ll stopped my m68k buildd, because I
> > don´t know m68k that much to be of any help for this port anymore. Therefore
> > my m68k isn´t needed anymore as my offered mips machine isn´t needed for the
> > mips port or the Debian project at all.
> I'm not sure I agree with your decision, but I do think I understand
> your frustration.


> Can I ask why it is such a disaster to have an alternate or standby
> buildd for the mips architecture?

IMHO because some people don't want anyone else to play on their playground.

Ciao...              // 
      Ingo         \X/

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