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Re: What's with the test-patches volunteers?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: What's with the test-patches volunteers?
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2012 10:07:32 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Graham Percival <address@hidden> writes:

> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 03:06:00PM +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
>> Graham Percival <address@hidden> writes:
>> > I agree.  Given your limited computing power, you are the very
>> > last person who should be running Patchy.
>> It is not just my computing resources that make me unsuitable.
> I was tactfully not mentioning the other part.  :)
>> you'll see that I am also damaging the project by alienating new
>> contributors.
> Actually, we _should_ be alienating new contributors.  At least,
> new programming contributors.  Anything else is dishonest and
> unfair to them.

I disagree that alienating them as a purpose would be either honest or
fair.  The point is more like _warning_ them.

Something like: Large companies tend to be organized like termite
colonies: everything revolves around the master mind who, with a body
inflated a thousandfold, can no longer leave the building and is catered
for by layers of personnel who deal with the outer world, bring food and
only escalate problems they don't know how to deal with themselves.  The
outer layer tends to have no clue whatsoever, but is polite and
encouraging, so that the customer (the most common problem) figures out
himself what was wrong, without feeling all too bad about possibly
aggravating or abusing the support person.

Now we are more organized like bees.  The queens are actually
distinguished by being the ones able to sting more than once.  And you
don't need to consult multiple layers to get an escalation to qualified
personnel.  You'll likely get an escalation before asking for it.  Well,
you may have been asking for it, but not necessarily on purpose.

I am not good at this, I am afraid.  Somebody else better explain that.

> (we still need more admin people, though, in order to smooth out
> the process of programming such that we can eventually be fair to
> new programmers)

What's being unfair?  Everybody gets the same treatment.  Except, of
course, that they don't have the option to just bypass procedures and

>> So in order to stop damaging the project, I will stop doing any
>> reviews except on patches of myself: I am getting paid for work on
>> LilyPond, and it would not be conscionable for me to forego those
>> parts of general work required to let my own work go forward.
> Please keep on reviewing -- at least, review to the extent of "you
> haven't fixed everything." or "problems in x, y, and z".  I'm not
> asking you to give any details, I'm not asking you to repeat yourself,
> and I'm certainly not asking you to be nice to patch submitters.  But
> we really need to stop questionable patches getting into lilypond --
> you know this even better than I.

I am afraid that you overestimate what I have been doing.  I've been
running test-patches and looking at pretty pictures.  The only advantage
I have over a trained monkey that I may be saying "no" more often than
merely "this looks fishy", and that I may be saying "this looks fishy"
more often than thinking something to be totally irrelevant.

> It's my job to think ahead of people.  I told Janek in January
> that he should not try to recruit anybody unless he was going to
> take care of them, because it would end badly.

I disagree.  The problem is more that it would _start_ badly.  Now if
you take a look at our code base and documentation, it is pretty much
unavoidable that it starts badly with regard to being in smooth sailing
waters concerning technical matters.  And it is going to last a few
years.  So if you are easily frustrated, you are not likely to stay
around all that long.  If you are not easily frustrated, you have a
chance to stick around until you start seeing some good things not just
in the program itself, but also in other developers, and even in some of
our procedures and infrastructure.

David Kastrup

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