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[Savannah-hackers] Re: troubles with new Savannah project

From: Mathieu Roy
Subject: [Savannah-hackers] Re: troubles with new Savannah project
Date: 18 Sep 2002 20:23:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

"Robert J. Chassell" <address@hidden> said:

> I am having trouble getting my new Savannah project and CVS repository
> working right.
>     The project page is:
>     The project's introductory CVS page is:
>     The CVS page itself is:
> I am a moderately but not extremely knowledgeable user.  If I am
> having trouble, I am sure that others will also have trouble.
>   * First, I submitted a description during the `Register new project'
>     process, but the project page says
>         This project has not yet submitted a short description. You can
>         submit it now.
>     Why should I resubmit what I have already submitted?  

Because, as explained in the help you should have already read while
registering your project, the description you wrote previously was
only targetted on us, savannah-hackers, dealing with your project
We store descriptions projects submit (it could be interesting, later,
to check if a project really do what he claims before) and in the
description there can be content that shouldn't be inserted in a front
page description.
>     Also, in any event, the page does not explain how to submit the
>     description.

In the text you paste previously, there's a link to the "project
public info edition".

Click on "submit it" (in You can submit it now).

With a correctly configured web browser, it should be obvious.

>     Hmmm... I just discoved a page with forms for both a *short* and
>     a *long* description.  Neither are filled in, even though I
>     submitted a description during the registration.

See reasons explained before.

>     The registration process did not say anything that I remember
>     about filling in this page as well as the page for registration.
>     Is this another page that has to be filled out?  If so, the
>     fields should be a part of the registration process, otherwise,
>     people like me will not realize that the registration process is
>     incomplete.

If you do not want to fill out this page, don't do it. You are free to
give - or not to give - to users informations.

This have nothing to do with « registration process ». Registration
process does not means "filling informations for final-users" but "giving to
moderators informations about the project, justifying how it respects the
rules of savannah (and so allow it to be hosted on savannah)".
In your special case, you had an agreement with the project GNU to
make your project part of the GNU project.
Since we trust people from GNU, it allowed you to pass this
approval/discarding step. But this case is special, this is not the
common situation. 

See the FAQ to have more details about the registration process.

>   * Second, on the project page, I try to access the `Project
>   Homepage' which is in a location called `Public Areas'.  However,
>   I receive an error message that says:
>         You don't have permission to access /software/softfree/ on this 
> server.
>     Why so? 

Because you haven't uploaded any file in your homepage CVS

See the FAQ to know how to do it.

>     And what do I do to enable me, a member of the public, as well
>     as a Project Admin, to access that page.

Just upload something.

>     And how is that page different from the
> page?

One is your project homepage. The other one does not exists.

>   * Third, the listing for the `Task Manager Project/Task Manager'
>   says `There are no public projects available'.  What does this
>   mean?  This is a public project; I have already registered it.

It means that you havent created any public sub-projects in your


This must be corrected.

>   * Fourth, when I try to access the Project Admin page, the error
>     message says simply
>         You do not have permission to view this page.
>     rather than 
>         You do not have permission to view this page.  Perhaps you are
>         not logged in or perhaps you are not an admin for this project.
>     A more explanatory error message would be useful.

It's an idea.
> It looks to me that an improved main page would fix many of these
> problems.
> However, on reading it again, I find that the first page for Savannah
> not only does not answer the questions I list above, it fails to
> provide other information that a new person needs.

But apparently you are not familiar with the FAQ.

I'm not very fond of RTFM but manual page are surely where the most
people expects to find thoses informations. 
The first page is not. The first page must explain to people that
comes on savannah for the first time what is savannah. Not how to use

> Please explain the following *on the first page* or in an obvious
> link from the first page.

I'm completely disagree for the reason previously said.

> (Please do not put operational info only in an FAQ, although you may
> duplicate some info there.)

The most of the operational informations are included directly in the
concerned page.
For instance, a link to "Public Information Edition" was in the main
FAQ is IMHO the better place to add others informations for people
unable to deal with the informations included directly in the
concerned page.

>   * what the site does, in language suitable for someone who has
>   done some programming, but has no experience with CVS,
>   SourceForge, or any of this stuff.
>            In more detail, explain what you get when you `Register new
>            project'
>         Please explain that a `project' includes:  a CVS respository
>         for each project, a CVS frontend to that respository, Web
>         space management thru CVS, an HTTP download area, bug
>         tracking, and mailing lists, and, of course, what all these
>         do.  (What, for example, is an `an HTTP download area'?)

It's an idea to list features. Anyway, browsing the website 2 minutes
provide thoses informations.

>   * how to set up a project
>         What password do you need?  How do you get one?  How do you
>         use `ssh-add' if you need a password?  How do you tell the
>         project managers that you are running a GNU or FSF project?


>   * how to set up a CVS respository
>         Please explain that a project leader must create a CVS
>         respository and how to do that.


>         Currently the instructions are *not* 
>          in the obvious FAQ 
>              # How do I import my project into the CVS

This has been changed recently. 
Previously it was in the same file
The reason of the split is probably the fact that 
"# How do I start using the CVS" is an interesting lecture for several

Importing the project into the CVS but also uploading the homepage.

>          repository?

>              ?  but in another FAQ # How do I start using the CVS
>          repository?
>   * how to set things up so that people who use wget or ftp or Emacs
>     Tramp or who want a tar.gz package can get that, without using CVS.

People that want to use wget, ftp or whatever just have to get the
link of the file they want to download.
Eventually, the can use --help to understand how wget works.
Project manager can store tar.gz files in their download area. 
How ? RTFF.
>   * how to update an existing central CVS repository from your local
>   site and how to update your local site from the central CVS
>   repository.
>     (Please be sure to explain how to do this both in a shell and in Emacs.
>       For example, to update a local site from the central repository,
>       a project member could run these commands in a shell
>              cd /my/local/repository
>              cvs -f -z6 update
>           and these commands in GNU Emacs
>                 (progn
>                  (cd "/my/local/repository/")
>                  (cvs-update "/my/local/repository/" nil))
>           and explain about using `ssh-add' and the like as needed.)

CVS commands are provided in the CVS page. 
But savannah is not a GNU Emacs manual. People that want to manage
their CVS with Emacs just have to read help about "emacs and CVS".

>   * how a project leader can add new people to the project admin group
>     (Evidentally, instead of typing *your own* name in a log-in field
>     on a special administrator's page, you must type the log-in name
>     of the person you want to add -- but I did not find pointers to
>     doing this; perhaps they exist, but I did not see them.  This
>     should be explained as part of the how-to.)

This is not obvious, we'll try to add help about it.

>   * how a project leader can add new people to the group that are
>   permitted to change the contents of the repository (i.e., make
>   commits) but who are not administrators

>         What explanatory text do I send via email to a person who does
>         not have an account on Savannah?

I do not understand your point.

>   * how to do the major things you do in CVS, such as mark
>   snapshots, operate branches, since many project leaders will know
>   some programming, but not yet have much familiarity with CVS

Read the CVS Manual.

With me alive, Savannah FAQ will not be a FAQ about each tools thats
can be used on Savannah. :))
There are lot of documentation about using CVS and others tools,
people have to read them. 

On savannah should be only informations required to use tools WITH
savannah, not how to use tools in general.

>   * how anyone, not just a project leader, can set up on their home
>   machine a local instance of the central CVS respository even if
>   they do not have an account on Savannah

He can download the tree anonymously. 

>   * and how they can update their local instance anonymously

By reading the CVS FAQ.

>          Please explain what to do for anonymous CVS both in a shell
>          and in Emacs.

No. People that wanna use emacs have to read docs about emacs. Not
telling us to duplicates information.
For instance, we can also provide sample .gnus. But shouldnt people
just go ? 
> Also, please do not use overly long lines for Savannah Web pages.  In
> my case, using Galeon, the Savannah Web pages are wider than the
> window I use.

I use galeon too and noticed nothing. Maybe you have to adapt the
fonts size?

> That is to say, contrary to all expectations and normal HTML
> practice, the width of the displayed text fails to adjust to fit the
> width of the display window.  This is wrong.  A major point of HTML
> is that the reader, not the author, decides how to display the pagex

If it's the case, well we can do just plain text.

Anyway, can you send screenshot of the problems you have.

> Incidentally, 
> does not display using Emacs W3 mode, although 
> displays correctly.  I do not know what the
> problem is.

People have to use web browser that are standard compliant. That's

I can browse successfully savannah with mozilla, konqueror, dillo,
lynx, links (text + graphical). And only mozilla and konqueror
understand recent (1999..) w3c standards.
(dillo is an example of the minimal web browser, with less features
than MSIE 3.0 or Netscape 3.0)

Anyway the solution is to enhance the code of Emacs w3, not breaking the
savannah w3 standards compliance.

If we were at Microsoft, perhaps we would modify the software
Frontpage to make it creating HTML pages that are Emacs w3 compliant,
without giving a penny about w3c standards, but we're not :)

 - Most of your questions have answers in the savannah user
 - On some point, I agree with you, informations lacks
 - But Savannah documentation, IMM, musn't be duplication of documentation
about emacs or cvs.

Thanks for your attention,

Mathieu Roy
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