[RFC/P] Port System Re-Engineering

Chuck Robey chuckr at chuckr.org
Mon Dec 3 11:00:48 PST 2007

Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Ade Lovett wrote:
>> On Dec 03, 2007, at 10:12 , Aryeh M. Friedman wrote:
>>> I have about 20 responses in private email and only the ones you
>>> have seen in public are in this category
>> Enough said.  There are currently ~180 people with direct access to
>>  the ports/ tree (ie: ports committers).
> Only 2 are self-reported maintainers and at least 5 admit to not being
> maintainers... I think your main issue is you are 100% in "there is
> nothing wrong" camp and for what ever reason want to convience
> everyone else any effort to say/do differently is misguided.
>> Even assuming all private email responses came from committers,
>> that's an 11% hit rate.
> That is why I am planning to wait to the end of Dec. or so to report
> the results in detail (and widen the audiences/forums)
>> Which part of "statistically invalid" is not getting through here?
> A self-selected sample will never be "statically" valid *BUT* it can
> be informative about what people are thinking.

One item that's always been completely true, it's that NO ONE, I mean NO 
  ONE AT ALL, gets any sort of approval for software until it's actually 
written, so folks can see what's really being talked about.  Does this 
mean that you might end of doing work that gets tossed away?  Yeah, it 
does mean that, but it's the cost that's paid, even by core members, in 
order that really sneaky bombs never make their way into FreeBSD's base.

If you don't like this, unfortunately, you don't get any say about it 

About what Ade's been talking about, I mean all his comments about folks 
who come up with plans (he used the term Napoleonic, I think it fits). 
Probably every single one of us folks who are actual coders has gone 
thru the painful initiation trying to help folks who at first present as 
folks who are honestly trying to learn, so they can contribute, then you 
find out that their real agenda is in talking YOU into doing THEIR 
ideas.  The dodo-bird that woke me up, I finally realized that he wanted 
me to write the program that included the entire universe of possible 
binary combinations, in the belief that such a task, although difficult 
(and costing MY life, but he was willing to pay the price of MY life, 
that's ok with him) would be the final program ever needed.  After I 
found his true goals, and realized that no amount of explanation was 
going to wake him up to the reality of the sheer idiocy he wanted me to 
  launch off on, I shook him off (he was hard to shake, too!) and began, 
myself, to form the psychological callus that we have most of us formed 
against these armchair Napoleons.

So, how can you tell if you are in that category?  It's simple ... are 
you asking others to do your task for you?  Are you justifiying this by 
saying that some folks should code, and others should plan?  Have you 
actually got any demonstratable code to offer, so that others can REALLY 
evaluate your goals?

If you fit that description, you are an archair Napoleon, that is not 
arguable, merely something to wail about, won't change any reality. 
Note that I am NOT telling you here that you are in any category 
whatever, you can do that as well as I can, and you haven't yet asked me 
to do anything.  At least, you won't, for me, because my own "callus" is 
thick enough to shake stuff like that off, the same as I ignore the 
entreaties to pay 100 bucks for those "life experience" dipomas.  I do 
know someone who paid something like that, and he STILL can't understand 
why they won't let him prescribe.  That's the real truth, although I 
won't divulge the name, he exists.  Some folks just can't see, that you 
can't TALK you r way into real respect, that takes honest 
accomplishments.  Like Ade so obviously can point to.

If you can, then maybe it's time to prove it, we'll all of us appreciate 
it very honestly, because the only way to prove it is to DO it.  If you 
can't, then maybe it's time to realize why folks don't listen to 
self-important people.

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