Email nagging, was: Re: Ports with version numbers going backwards: graphics/gd,japanese/gd, ukrain...

Charles Swiger cswiger at
Wed Oct 13 11:49:23 PDT 2004

On Oct 12, 2004, at 7:30 PM, Oliver Eikemeier wrote:
> Uhm, I wonder why you are fine with hourly `INDEX build failed' 
> messages, but oppose those addressing PORTVERSION. Any crucial 
> difference I'm missing?

Yes.  :-)

Please note that I did not say I was fine with hourly "INDEX build 
failed" messages.  Those are tolerable, but I wish those were generated 
less often as well.

Automated email nagging should be tuned so that it provides alerts when 
something breaks, and periodic reminders if something is left unfixed.  
However, too much nagging is counterproductive because people ignore 
them or file the notices into junk mail.  This is particularly true for 
the case where the people receiving the mail cannot fix the problem 
which they are being nagged about.


On Oct 12, 2004, at 8:49 PM, Kris Kennaway wrote:
> You're not distinguishing that it's important for the committers to be
> told about the version decrement (so they can fix it), but users don't
> need to know about it.  OTOH, reporting INDEX failures to users is
> important because otherwise someone has to answer all of the support
> emails that arise when users notice on their own (because their index
> build fails).

Yes, I've heard you say this before, and I accept that messaging all 
users (not just committers) for failed INDEX builds serves a useful 

Beyond that, my memory suggests that at least sometimes, a 
non-committer-- often the maintainer of an affected port-- will figure 
out what's wrong with an INDEX build and suggest a fix in a timely 
enough fashion that doing so is helpful to the committers.


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