[Mageia-sysadm] [forums-discuss] Re: updating sysadmin privileges in forum config

Wolfgang Bornath molch.b at googlemail.com
Sun Mar 25 08:24:31 CEST 2012

2012/3/24 Michael Scherer <misc at zarb.org>:
> Le samedi 24 mars 2012 à 12:48 +0100, Wolfgang Bornath a écrit :
>> But I doubt
>> there would be benefits by having a package for the forum software.
>> Quite to the contrary, a simple change of a character in one of the
>> php files would cause the need of an update of the whole package,
>> while as is you just need to exchange this one php file. If there
>> would be a benefit I guess there would have been phpBB packages for
>> years, phpBB being the most popular forum software, not only in the
>> Linux world. Ok, a weak point, I admit.
> The point is indeed weak.
> For the start, having a package would ease the testing, since right now,
> people just have no clue on how to replicate our setup. There is the
> puppet manifests, but I take for granted that the intersection of those
> that know how to use them and those interested into testing phpbb is
> near 0.

Right. Why? Because even those who have experience in phpBB forum
maintenance and php are not familiar of the setup used at Mageia.

> Second part of having a package is that it would benefit to others if in
> the distribution. It would also ease the management of version by the QA
> ( cause if stuff is really important, you want to have it checked before
> it goes live ).
> Another idea is to detect when there is change in the php files, by
> using the rpm -V feature. That's quite handy when there is a problem
> ( again speaking of experience ).
> And having a rpm in the distribution also mean that we can benefit from
> the whole framework on making sure this is up to date, making sure that
> basic quality is respected, etc. Something that is far from being the
> case with a random zip taken from the web, especially from php software.
> And I do not even talk of more complex security system like tomoyo or
> selinux.

Well, the phpBB community is very large, involving people on all
levels of knowledge related to web applications and system
administration. Regarding the software being released from them as not
up to date and far from basic quality seems to me a bit ...

>>  - How would you implement requested features which are not available
>> in the forum software other than by "MODs" (which is the same as a
>> patch?
> Usually, with well designed software, that work with plugins. Of course,
> with some stuff, that goes by "let's duplicate the source code and deal
> with merging source code update". There is ton of example of why this is
> wrong ( search "technical debt" on a search engine for lots of articles
> on the topic ), hence the need to use a software properly designed, and
> to stay in a well designed process.

Ok, so your point is that phpBB is not the software you want to use.
This is a point I understand and would accept, you explained the
points very well. But I don't know if there is a software with same
functionality which would qualify and if there is it would mean a lot
of work to switch.

> And frankly, the whole idea of mod is a sign that phpbb is not suitable
> out of the box, as I said in the past. So while maybe the others are not
> either, that's still a signal that something is wrong.

Ok, what can be done about that?

> From my point of view, everybody can open a bug report or send patches.
> No one did, and you can say as much as you want "this is not my fault",
> that will not change anything nor retroactively make bug reports appear.
> I would add that if people have a pretension to become admin or
> anything, they should at least attempt to act as such. Ie, sending
> patchs, etc.

I haven't met anybody in the international forum with a pretention to
become admin in the way you see it.

> No, the discussion started because no one did the job. We are not
> Mandriva, there is not "someone is in charge so I do nothing" bullshit
> state of mind with the company and the rest of the world separation. The
> system is open enough that someone skilled enough and motivated enough
> can do most of the job, except the last step.
> If people were really concerned on contributing instead of speaking how
> they would want to do something or how others didn't do what they
> wanted, they would have done something.

Yes, all correct in general and it would surely have happened like
this in the Mageia forum as well. But:
If there is an admin in place (even somebody who claims that there are
enough admins), if this admin keeps responding to questions in the
forum about a missing update and other requests by explaining how it
will be done and what is needed and that it will be done as soon as
possible - why should anyone of the users should write a bug report?

Of course I can only speak for myself. There was a time when I was
concerned on contributing, especially in the forum area. But after
some discussions I got the impression that maât did not need
contributions. I do not insist on contributing if it seems to be not
wanted by the person who was the responsible person for this area. If
you regard this to be caused by my ego, no problem.

Overall I agree to most of your points after your explanations, thx
for taking the time.


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