[Mageia-dev] Improving communications

Joseph Wang joequant at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 07:10:34 CET 2012

I have a few suggestions for improving packaging communications

* https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Pending_packages

where I'll keep updated the status of my packaging, and I'll try to
forward notices from the mailing list.  Having something on the wiki
makes things a bit more organized.  I've changed the links a bit so to
tell people to look on that page first for important notices.

* Mageia-mentors mailing list or backup mentors

It would be good if there was a mageia-mentors mailing list in which
private e-mail to and from the mentors could be cc'ed to so that all
of the mentors would have an overview of what conversations would
happen and there would be a "backup" in case a mentor goes offline.
Alternatively, people could get in a the habit of having a backup
mentor cc'ed that can respond if something comes up.

It would also be good to change the instruction page with something
instructions like "if you don't hear back from X in three days, then
do Y"

What happened with me was that I had been packaging a large number of
packages and coordinating things offline with my mentor.  I mentioned
that I was packaging cinnamon and then when I was done (and it was
just a minor project), I mentioned that I was done.  I didn't hear
back, but that's happened before, and that's not a problem.  The
problem was that when I looked on the dev list for something
unrelated, I found out that the cinnamon packages had been bounced.
That wasn't a problem since they had been bounced for very good
technical reasons, which I've been fixing.  Unfortunately, I was
reading the e-mail out of context so it looked to me like some tiny
cabal had bounced all my packages for no reason at all, and so I went
ballistic.  The most annoying problem is that no one mentioned it me
that there was a technical issue with cinnamon.

Part of the issue is since I'm new, I don't know the people, and so I
can't tell based on limited information if people are being reasonable
or not.  Automatically assuming that people are being reasonable won't
work, because you'll find a lot of groups on the internet in which
people aren't reasonable (i.e. there is a reason why people are
dumping Gnome3 for Cinnamon) and people don't have the time and energy
to find out what's going on, and there is a lot of
"pseudo-reasonableness" out there.  Working with a lot of volunteer
groups has made me a little paranoid when someone seems nice.

For people with a CS bent, a lot of issues that you run into with
coordinating people are the same that you run into in coordinating
CPU/GPU's and doing parallel computing.  You can map some of the
issues that I've run into into the "two generals problem".

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