[arch-dev-public] Reactive development [was: Repository cleanup]

James Rayner iphitus at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 23:57:40 EDT 2007

Still poking my head in here once in a while :)

On Thu, September 13, 2007 03:38, Aaron Griffin wrote:
> Wow. Simo said exactly what I've been feeling for some time now, much
> more concisely that I even had formulated the thoughts.


> That's our problem. We have a disparity here between people who don't
> know common software development practices, and those who do. Those
> who know these processes expect everyone to implicitly follow them,
> and those who don't know them think they're silly.

I've got no experience in the industry... so I guess I can ask here: care
to lay them or something down for the uninformed?

> This is what we're lacking. And sadly, it's a word everyone hates.
> We're missing "process".

Last semester I did Organisational Behaviour as the first subject in my
business degree. At the end of the course I was wishing I'd used Arch as a
focus for my assignment - I could see a lot of issues. That's why I tried
to start the goals discussion. We need process, but to formulate those
processes, we need to know what we are working towards.

> That said, we have always held that the mailing lists are our proper
> channel of communication. This is important. Hell, it's critical.
> Saying "hey guess what!" on IRC doesn't cut it. The mailing list not
> only informs everyone (not all devs are on IRC) but also has archival
> history.

Exactly. IRC is a secondary, convenience channel, just in case developer Y
is online. It annoys me when people say "oh but we discussed it on irc" --
I'm timezone "handicapped" compared to some of you or often cannot make it

> We need to communicate. We need to follow processes. If you find a bug
> or a user report, and you're unclear about it - **say something**. The
> great word being flung around these days is "unilateral" - we're not a
> group of 30 independent people doing their own things, we're a group
> of 30 people working together.

> Guys, seriously. We're floundering. Something needs to be done, and
> it's not up to one or two of us. It's up to all of us.


Seeing as many people will just "ok" this thread and let it lie... these
are some ideas i've thought of in the past... Aaron's defined the problem,
let's solve it.

- Scheduled Monthly Meetings. Importantly, people need to prepare for the
meeting, and be ready to make a decision on the topics listed on the
agenda. No more "lets just leave it for the list".

- Groups. Divide ourselves. We don't need everyone in a meeting to discuss
a mkinitcpio/kernel change, only those interested/concerned/involved with
it. Smaller groups will make decisions much easier. Impromptu meetings are
easier to organise, and at the end you can say "Kernel group decided this:

- Goals. We need direction. Direction is needed to make decisions. Goals
give a foundation for decisions.

- Checks. Keep an eye on each other, keep each other in check. If
someone's ignoring a bug, or not doing something, make it known, send a
mail, point it out. If you don't have time to do something, send a mail to
the list and ask someone else. This is where groups would help, making
something more people's responsibility.

- Stop waiting for arch-repos. It's still not here. We can do some stuff now.


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