If ports@ list continues to be used as substitute for GNATS, I'm unsubscribing

John Marino freebsd.contact at marino.st
Wed Dec 18 12:58:44 UTC 2013

On 12/18/2013 13:12, Marcus von Appen wrote:
> John Marino <freebsd.contact at marino.st>:
>> Over the months I've seen several ports users copy a failure log and
>> mail it to ports@, usually without even saying "hello".  I've tried to

First I want to address "hello".  People have been interpreting this
literally, as in literally starting the message with "hi".  That's my
fault, I know it's an international list.  By hello, I really mean
additional text to the log, to introduce the problem, the circumstances,
etc.  By just pasting a log, while it may be self-explanatory, i take
this as, "This port is broken. Fix it, monkey".  E.g., The person
literally does not spend effort to write a few words, yet they expect
you, a volunteer, to perhaps spend hours of your free time on their
problem.  That is what I find *very* impolite.

> Do the QAT reports bug you on this list? If they do not, why is that so?
> I did not see you complain about those

Yes, they do.  I created a auto-rule that dumps these straight into the
local trash.  First, they aren't particularly reliable (e.g. many ports
fails the same way due to a pre-built dependency), and secondly I only
care about these if I just committed something, so I can look in the
trash around that time.  However, I don't understand why [QAT] is sent
to ports@ rather than commits at .  It's a separate complaint, but at least
filters can save me.

>> discourage that behavior but other members of this mail list encourage
>> this method of bypassing writing PRs.  One user even proudly boasted
> In my opinion, writing a PR with all the required information (using
> send-pr
> or the web front-end) is still quite a hard task for many people,
> especially
> those coming freshly from another system. The front-end of GNATS and format

I exclusively use the web interface.  It's not hard in my opinion.  I've
written about 300 of them.  The people will learn to use it (or the
well-known bugzilla that will replace it) if they are told mail list PRs
will be ignored.

> of send-pr does not make that job easier or fun at all.
> Also, the PR will usually idle around for a couple of days and as a user
> you
> do not get instant feedback about your PR being actually received by the
> system (instead it takes a couple of hours).

Those are all valid complaints about the PR system, but it's being
replaced.  I trust it will get better.  That's not an excuse to avoid
using it though.

> Work on a better reporting system is still ongoing, so let's see, how we
> could make life easier for users instead of babbling about leaving the
> list:
> - The ports tree *knows* in most cases that something went wrong. It
> reports
> this on the command line and leaves everything else up to the user.

That's fine.  I think the proposed ideas are fine, but tangential to my
complaint, which is the path of least resistance is what people are
going to take.  If ports@ is considered an alternative to GNATS(buzilla)
by the ports developers, then many people are going to use it instead
*if* they are going to report something beyond what the ports tree would

>> One user even proudly boasted that sending email to ports@ is faster than
>> writing a PR so of course he was going to do that instead.
> Which sums up to: the workflow for crating/handling PRs is not good enough,
> maintainers do not react fast enough on PRs, etc.

I have no issue at all people using ports@ to complain that the PR they
previously wrote needs attention.  At that point, the user has done
everything right and the maintainers failed.  And there are some
maintainers that have never replied to a PR, so the user really has no
other recourse.  But they should follow the proper procedure on isolated
port issues (a systematic issue is quite another situation).

> I think, we forgot about ports-bugs@ to be the appropriate place and see it
> only as a list for GNATS reports. I agree with you insofar as that people
> should send specific things to the designated list.

I can't claim to subscribe to ports-bugs at .  I also concentrate on
general tree quality, so I'm concerned with 20,000 ports.  Other
committers, bless them, do try help out with the PR queue.  I am very
active and do a lot, but I personally don't have any remaining time to
handle extra PRs I didn't write or get assigned (although I will take
open PRs that about problems I'm about to independently fix, I've done
that a few times.)


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