The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

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The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Loganaden Velvindron-2
Fellow OpenBSD users,

I've noticed a disturbing trend: Very few users are testing
patches that developers/contributors are posting.

In OpenBSD, -current is NOT volatile as other projects. So
you can grab a a snapshot and start using it right away.

Ariane posted a huge diff to drastically reduce the size of
ramdisk kernels and got only 1 tester up to now.
http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=131669525606850&w=2

Otto Moerbeek posted a diff to improve malloc:
http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=131537857923062&w=2
and only 2 testers showed up.

All of the above diffs require testing on all platforms to make
sure that the releases are rock-solid and won't contain bugs
that will show up when a user will run the release on his arch.

As todd explained it to me once, when a diff gets committed,
the developers need to be have some confidence that it works
really well. A diff which has not been tested is not going to get
merged. However, a diff which has been tested by 5 more people
is more trustworthy.

I always see the same names testing patches (and it's a small
group of dedicated users).

I posted a diff for 2 memory leak in sftp (trivial diff),
and I didn't get any test reports from OpenBSD users. I ported it
to portable OpenSSH, and a Gentoo user tested it !

judging from the volume of mails on misc@, I would tend to think
that there are quite a few openbsd users out there. Where did
the excitement go ? Where are the adventurous openbsd users who
would always run -current, test patches and report bugs ? I met
more hardcore users in FreeBSD/Arch/Gentoo group than in openbsd.

If we don't shake things up, things will not change ! Running -current and
testing diffs _helps_ OpenBSD development significantly.

//Logan
C-x-C-c
--
`` Real men run current !''

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Alexey Suslikov
Loganaden Velvindron <loganaden <at> gmail.com> writes:

>
> If we don't shake things up, things will not change ! Running -current and
> testing diffs _helps_ OpenBSD development significantly.

The problem, IMO, how process is organized.

Mailing lists are not designed for commenting and reviewing
diffs. Patches simply gets forgotten and than reinvented. We
have *number* of "oh, I forgot to ok". Isn't it because of
people receive *tons* of mail nowadays?

We have *number* of examples when developer hit dead url in
2 days after kernel panic screenshot been linked in mail to
bugs@.

Also, we have no bug-tracker. We've been told "mail to bugs@
and search marc.info" instead.

In the end of the day, we have *lot* of spam in our mailing
lists.

There is no center for all this stuff so people can't jump-in,
search, test and feedback to *right* developer.

We need tools like Review Board (google it).

Alexey

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Steven Schneider-2
In reply to this post by Loganaden Velvindron-2
* Loganaden Velvindron <[hidden email]> [111009 12:45]:
>Fellow OpenBSD users,
>
>I've noticed a disturbing trend: Very few users are testing
>patches that developers/contributors are posting.
>
You raised some good points.  Thanks for the reminder to help out
the devs. :-)

--
W. Steven Schneider  <[hidden email]>

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Marc Espie-2
In reply to this post by Alexey Suslikov
On Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 09:10:16PM +0000, Alexey E. Suslikov wrote:

> Loganaden Velvindron <loganaden <at> gmail.com> writes:
>
> >
> > If we don't shake things up, things will not change ! Running -current and
> > testing diffs _helps_ OpenBSD development significantly.
>
> The problem, IMO, how process is organized.
>
> Mailing lists are not designed for commenting and reviewing
> diffs. Patches simply gets forgotten and than reinvented. We
> have *number* of "oh, I forgot to ok". Isn't it because of
> people receive *tons* of mail nowadays?

Nah, mailing-lists work just fine. It's just a question of being
organized.

In most cases, it's like a football game. Spectator sport, pass the
chips, and oh ? actually save that diff somewhere, try it out and
report back to the list/the corresponding developer ? no way, too
much work !

So, get off your lazy asses, and start trying out stuff (not speaking
for you, Alexey, just speaking for our user community in general)

For crying out loud, it's not as if interesting *technical* threads kill
those mailing-lists. When there's too much tech chatter going on, then
we can worry about better tools.

Don't blame the tools. Blame the *people* who don't test.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Alexey Suslikov
Marc Espie <espie <at> nerim.net> writes:

>
> Don't blame the tools. Blame the *people* who don't test.

I wonder why jasper@ went to github if mailing lists are
good enough.

And you didn't respond on dead bug-tracker issue: if people
test where is a place to put results?

Alexey

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Ted Unangst-6
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Mon, Oct 10, 2011, Alexey E. Suslikov wrote:
> Marc Espie <espie <at> nerim.net> writes:
>
>>
>> Don't blame the tools. Blame the *people* who don't test.
>
> I wonder why jasper@ went to github if mailing lists are
> good enough.

ports and base are different enough I don't think we should immediately
draw any conclusions.  ports didn't use the bug tracker even when there
was one....

> And you didn't respond on dead bug-tracker issue: if people
> test where is a place to put results?

That has an easy answer.   If it works, mail the author.  If it doesn't
work, mail the list.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Alexey Suslikov
On 2011-10-10, Alexey E. Suslikov <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Marc Espie <espie <at> nerim.net> writes:
>> Don't blame the tools. Blame the *people* who don't test.
>
> I wonder why jasper@ went to github if mailing lists are
> good enough.

That (openbsd-wip) has nothing to do with tracking bugs, it's a place
where people can collaborate on ports development for things that aren't
ready for the tree yet.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Mihai Popescu B.S.
In reply to this post by Loganaden Velvindron-2
I want to test them, but my OpenBSD understanding is not so high so
I'm not able yet to implement and test those patches.
Tried most of the FAQ and other docs but no luck until now. Beginner
questions are not welcomed here and newbies@ has low traffic. You can
say I can edit and send out the diff for FAQ, but how to edit and
produce docs about something I don't understand.

I will push my luck and try a guess: the majority of OpenBSD users are
not so advanced to deal with sensitive things.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Brett Mahar-2
On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 10:21:51 +0300
Mihai Popescu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I want to test them, but my OpenBSD understanding is not so high so
> I'm not able yet to implement and test those patches.
> Tried most of the FAQ and other docs but no luck until now. Beginner
> questions are not welcomed here and newbies@ has low traffic. You can
> say I can edit and send out the diff for FAQ, but how to edit and
> produce docs about something I don't understand.
>
> I will push my luck and try a guess: the majority of OpenBSD users are
> not so advanced to deal with sensitive things.
>

Hi Mihai,
The instructions for applying patches are here:

http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq10.html#Patches

If you work you way through, it does not take too much understanding of openbsd to do, but you will learn a lot by doing.

Brett.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Johan Ryberg
In reply to this post by Mihai Popescu B.S.
My own experience about "newbe" questions is that if you put effort in
the question and explains how far you got and provides all info then
you often got god answers but if you simply haven't tried any thing
and not read faq, howtos, older conversations in the list and so on
then you often got the cold hand.

It's all about engagement and a real interest to solve and learn, not
to be a beginner since we all has been there.

Best regards Johan


2011/10/12 Mihai Popescu <[hidden email]>:
> I want to test them, but my OpenBSD understanding is not so high so
> I'm not able yet to implement and test those patches.
> Tried most of the FAQ and other docs but no luck until now. Beginner
> questions are not welcomed here and newbies@ has low traffic. You can
> say I can edit and send out the diff for FAQ, but how to edit and
> produce docs about something I don't understand.
>
> I will push my luck and try a guess: the majority of OpenBSD users are
> not so advanced to deal with sensitive things.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Peter Hessler
In reply to this post by Mihai Popescu B.S.
newbies has low traffic, but there are still plenty of people
subscribed.  Feel free to mail it ([hidden email]) your
questions.


On 2011 Oct 12 (Wed) at 10:21:51 +0300 (+0300), Mihai Popescu wrote:
:I want to test them, but my OpenBSD understanding is not so high so
:I'm not able yet to implement and test those patches.
:Tried most of the FAQ and other docs but no luck until now. Beginner
:questions are not welcomed here and newbies@ has low traffic. You can
:say I can edit and send out the diff for FAQ, but how to edit and
:produce docs about something I don't understand.
:
:I will push my luck and try a guess: the majority of OpenBSD users are
:not so advanced to deal with sensitive things.
:

--
Joe's sister puts spaghetti in her shoes!

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Johan Ryberg
On 2011-10-12, Johan Ryberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
> My own experience about "newbe" questions is that if you put effort in
> the question and explains how far you got and provides all info then
> you often got god answers but if you simply haven't tried any thing
> and not read faq, howtos, older conversations in the list and so on
> then you often got the cold hand.
>
> It's all about engagement and a real interest to solve and learn, not
> to be a beginner since we all has been there.

Absolutely. And the interesting thing is, by putting in the effort
to explain things clearly and thinking about what information others
will need in order to help, often you'll hit upon the solution yourself.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Kevin Chadwick-2
On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 09:12:54 +0000 (UTC)
Stuart Henderson wrote:

> often you'll hit upon the solution yourself.

At the same time as hitting the send button and then the words Oh
Bollocks! ringing in your head.

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

Steven Schneider-2
* Kevin Chadwick <[hidden email]> [111012 06:30]:
>Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 13:14:13 +0000
>From: Kevin Chadwick <[hidden email]>
>To: [hidden email]
>Subject: Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up
>X-Mailer: Kevs Mailer
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>Sender: [hidden email]
References: <CALYmL=[hidden email]>
  <[hidden email]>
  <[hidden email]>
>
>On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 09:12:54 +0000 (UTC)
>Stuart Henderson wrote:
>
>> often you'll hit upon the solution yourself.
>
>At the same time as hitting the send button and then the words Oh
>Bollocks! ringing in your head.
>
That, or someone posts right back with the solution and it's so
drop-dead simple you feel like an idiot. <-- personal experience.

--
W. Steven Schneider  <[hidden email]>

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Re: The OpenBSD user community needs to shake things up

richo-2
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On 10/10/11 17:49 +0200, Marc Espie wrote:
>On Sun, Oct 09, 2011 at 09:10:16PM +0000, Alexey E. Suslikov wrote:
>> Loganaden Velvindron <loganaden <at> gmail.com> writes:
>>
>> >
>> > If we don't shake things up, things will not change ! Running -current
and

>> > testing diffs _helps_ OpenBSD development significantly.
>>
>> The problem, IMO, how process is organized.
>>
>> Mailing lists are not designed for commenting and reviewing
>> diffs. Patches simply gets forgotten and than reinvented. We
>> have *number* of "oh, I forgot to ok". Isn't it because of
>> people receive *tons* of mail nowadays?
>
>Nah, mailing-lists work just fine. It's just a question of being
>organized.
>
>In most cases, it's like a football game. Spectator sport, pass the
>chips, and oh ? actually save that diff somewhere, try it out and
>report back to the list/the corresponding developer ? no way, too
>much work !

With respect, you're talking about volunteers here, not employees with any
particular vested interest. If tools exist to make it less work, we should
employ them.
>
>So, get off your lazy asses, and start trying out stuff (not speaking
>for you, Alexey, just speaking for our user community in general)

It is well and good to say this, but again, will saying "Stop being lazy"
change anything?

I've watched github drastically increase the patchflow to projects because of
how easy it makes the "fork -> hack -> submit -> merge" workflow for both the
upstream and the contributor. Consider how many documentation fixes oBSD
would have seen if people could submit them from the browser /while reading/
the docs?

If you see a typo in a project to which you do not have commit access'
manpage, it's a significant amount of work to get the source, find the file,
fix it, make a patch, work out where to submit it, mail it, and check that
someone has seen it.

>
>For crying out loud, it's not as if interesting *technical* threads kill
>those mailing-lists. When there's too much tech chatter going on, then
>we can worry about better tools.
>
>Don't blame the tools. Blame the *people* who don't test.
>

I agree that the blame lies squarely with those who don't test, however I
don't think yelling "Test dammit" is going to fix anything. If there are
suggestions for tools that can make this workflow simpler, I think they
should be chased up completely.

Just my .02c

--
richo || Today's excuse:

paradigm shift...without a clutch

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