[Mageia-discuss] Suggestions

Michael Scherer misc at zarb.org
Sun Oct 24 10:58:56 CEST 2010

Le dimanche 24 octobre 2010 à 03:27 -0400, David W. Hodgins a écrit :
> On Sat, 23 Oct 2010 20:52:01 -0400, Michael Scherer <misc at zarb.org> wrote:
> > The patch arguent is invalid, because people can also send mail, like
> > "here is a better description of package $FOO because I didn't
> > understood the current one and I wanted to help".
> Take a look at https://qa.mandriva.com/show_bug.cgi?id=45605
> I am not a c programmer, but due to my background, working with
> mainframes, and what I have learned on my own, I can sometimes
> figure out not only what the problem is, but how to fix it.
> I don't know anything about patch files, or the relationship
> between packagers, and developers within Mandriva. I was quite
> surprised by Matthias's response.  From the context, I gather
> Matthias, is the upstream developer, and Pacho was the Mandriva
> packager, but given the the fact Mandriva is a company, that
> appeared to be annoying the actual developer, I chose not to
> follow up on the bug. The bug is still there in 2010.1, so I
> use my own version, that contains the fix I suggested.

Well, there is a few misunderstanding.

1) Mandriva is a company, but this is also a community. 
Pacho is not the packager, pacho is a member of the triage team. He was
not paid by Mandriva ( hence the lack of star near his name, but this
was not obvious at all ).

2) as a distribution with volunteer packagers, there is part of the
distro that no one take care of. Leafnode, unfortunatly, is such as
package. I will not say anything new when I seay that NNTP is no longer
all the rage nowadays, and that's unfortunatly mean there is less
interest into taking care of this.

3) As I said in the past, reporting a bug is nice, but that's not were
the current bottleneck lies, it is on fixing the bug. It is unfortunate
that we didn't really took more attention to bugs with a suggested fix,
because that's something that really should be fixed in priority, as
someone did the effort of not only finding it, but also did the best he
could do to get it fixed. And so I think it deserve a special

> My personality is such that I actually derive pleasure from
> solving problems.  I hate getting involved in company style
> "politics", so I became self employed, prior to retiring,
> and only worked on a contract basis, to solve that problem.

Well, there was no politics, there was just a shortage of manpower, like
many free software project.

> Even with my background, I did not feel comfortable making
> suggestions (for what I expect the developer/packager would
> consider cosmetic changes), to things like package descriptions.
> I know how to search to find the packages, that will do what
> I want, even if the descriptions in the rpm package are not
> well written, but most users don't have that ability.
> Yes, people can send email, or file bug reports, if they can figure
> out who to send them to, and felt the feedback would be appreciated.
> Most people will not.  Without a better understanding of who actually
> writes the descriptions in the packages, I would not either.
> I'm hoping Mageia will make it easier for people like myself
> to not only contact the developer/packager, but also make it
> feel like such contact is desired.

Well, if we look rationally, a company where employees use a public
bugtracker and a public mailling list and public irc channel is already
more engaging than my own experience for bugs with Microsoft or Apple.

But indeed, you need to be aware of those to understand the difference.

What is missing is the realization that some people were not paid by
Mandriva at all. There is a community around it ( ie, most people using
a @mandriva.org address to post on cooker ). People that started like

That's unfortunate that people still do not know this, but I guess
that's solely our own fault as a community that we didn't expose more
by posting blog posts, by saying it loud, by having a visible community
presence at FOSDEM and other related events ( or by giving interview
just to say that ).

But I think that if people knew that there is collaboration between
employee and non-employee, they would have feel more welcome. And from
what I read, you didn't know, so you were cautious, which seemed
natural. That's our fault, and that's something we tried to fix with
assembly ( without much sucess on the first try ), something I tried to
fix by being present at every possible free software fair ( without much
success too ) 

Michael Scherer

More information about the Mageia-discuss mailing list