[IAEP] maintenance

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at tomeuvizoso.net
Mon May 3 05:24:26 EDT 2010

On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 20:41, Martin Langhoff
<martin.langhoff at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 6:38 AM, Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at tomeuvizoso.net> wrote:
>> follows a plan about how to improve the situation regarding
>> maintenance of our software modules. If you care about it, please
>> reply even if only to say so, or even better, comment on it and
>> suggest improvements. I will assume that lack of replies mean people
>> don't care about it and will stop caring about it myself.
> I care deeply. I am working on several aspects of this -- trying to
> bring OLPC closer to SL -- not alone of course, many hands are
> involved in this.

Yes, I have noticed this effort and I'm very grateful for it. I feel
sad for SLs not being able right now to correspond with a similarly
strong push.

> Let me say -- strictly as my personal opinion -- that it is a good
> idea to mimic successful long-lived self-sustaining FOSS projects.
> Lots of tricky lessons need to be learned and figured out by all
> parties. We reuse other people's code, reuse other people's experience
> :-)

That's my recommendation as well for SLs. Sugar's development model is
based on GNOME's, due to the initial efforts of Red Hat and most
specifically of Marco Pesenti Gritti. I think it's specially
appropriate because Sugar is a close downstream to GNOME (and some
other modules at Freedesktop such as Telepathy, which have a similar
model as well) and it happens quite often that some issues with Sugar
need to be fixed rather in GNOME.

Collabora pays me for developing on GNOME and Freedesktop and thus
that's the experience I can offer. If SLs decides to try to move to a
different model, I wish you all the luck but I'm afraid I won't be
able to help with it.

>> The problem is that very few people in Sugar Labs are willing to do
>> that maintenance work.
> That is true. And it is a problem for downstreams as well. Following
> other projects, I would say that maintenance is something that usually
> gets done and funded (directly and indirectly) by those with needs
> closer to the end user.

Yes, that's my impression as well.

> I've said this a few times in private, and I am happy to repeat here:
> OLPC needs polish on what Sugar is, and maybe some very specific new
> features. Deployments in general need a lot less whizbang -- focus is
> on stability/maturity of implementation and APIs, and specific
> features.

And SLs needs to grow ways to communicate with downstreams so our
development is driven by you all, that's the role of the deployment
team and also of the community team.

>> I also want to make explicit that almost all maintenance effort has
>> come from a few volunteers that are tired and disappointed about the
>> little importance that has been given to this work.
> I share the pain and frustration. To me, polish and maintenance are
> the key ingredient when you deploy to tens of thousands of users.
>> == Proposal A: Get downstreams working better inside Sugar Labs ==
>> miscommunication. Downstreams don't know how Sugar is developed, who
> I agree with your plan, but I disagree on your statement right above
> these words. OLPC is your main downstream, and we know (though
> sometimes we misunderstand/miscommunicate...).

Yes, sorry, I have been unfair to OLPC here.

> Most deployments take a while to progress from the initial deployment
> work, where logistics and figuring out how to run the show soaks up
> all their time and energy, to planning for the next OS upgrade and
> thinking "oh, we'd like feature X and bugfix Y in Sugar". And at that
> stage, they need to get their team together, and they will -- in most
> cases -- work based on OLPC's OS images.
> So "get OLPC downstream working closer with SL" is a key step -- gets
> almost all your downstreams closer to SL.
> That's what I can help on, in any case :-)

Yes, I think some individuals at SLs are making enormous progress in
communicating with deployments and OLPC has helped a lot with it. I
just wish there were ways for deployments to communicate with the
whole SLs community so we all can work better together.



> m
> --
>  martin.langhoff at gmail.com
>  martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
>  - ask interesting questions
>  - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
>  - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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