Mark Linimon linimon at lonesome.com
Thu May 25 13:50:52 PDT 2006

On Mon, May 22, 2006 at 09:19:20PM +1000, Peter Jeremy wrote:
> >	"Fix PCVT to be SMP locked, do the right things with TTYs,
> >	work with whatever is the state of the art in keyboards.
> >	And do so before August 1st OR ELSE".
> >
> >Now, in your own mind, think for a moment what would have happened
> >if I had sent that email out...
> With due respect, you _do_ have a reputation...  Kris (effectively)
> writes this in ports commit messages regularly without the world
> ending and he hasn't been lynched yet.

For some background: on Kris' first pass since I joined the project, he
held ~100 ports over the precipice, and people (of course) cried about
the End Of The World As We Know It, etc.  The expirations were set at
several weeks.  Several dozen ports were fixed quickly; another few dozen
were fixed rightatthelastsecondjustbeforeOHGOD.  He (or I, or both, I no
longer remember) waited another few days and axed about 40 or so.

At which point no one noticed, because those remaining ports _deserved_
to die :-)

Now we have this process that automates all this and emails a heads-up
every two weeks (when I remember to do it :-) ) and it turns out that it
less matters what that process _is_ than there is one.  This way people
"feel" like they know what the process is.  Yes, some people still complain
at the end of the day, but they get told "here's where these messages were,
we publicize them as best we can, life goes on."

Now, the ports framework that does all this is too heavyweight for src/;
it tags along with a bunch of already-existing glop in bsd.port.mk.  But
if I can suggest a file kind of like UPDATING which is a list of subsystems
that are believed to be broken/experimental, with a column for expiration
date, that might be enough.  (So: 3 columns, subsystem/status/date if any.)

If people _want_ to, when they add entries they can send a heads-up.  And
other people can monitor those commits, and if they disagree, well, there's
that nice MAINTAINERS file right next door they can sign up for the thing.

FWIW, this might also take care of the problem of where to say e.g. "don't
use libdisk, it's garbage."

That's what I would recommend, anyways.  One unified place to find the info,
lightweight process.


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