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Re: [Xen-devel] [Xen-users] xen forum

Hello Konrad, and others at Oracle,

On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 10:04 AM, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk <konrad.wilk@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 12:31:02PM -0400, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
> On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 04:04:09PM +0100, Ian Murray wrote:
> >
> >
> > >It would be easier for us if the bug reports and such were posted on xen-devel.
> > >Please consult http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html when
> > >doing it.
> > >
> >
> >
> > My own experience is that posts (at least from me) are regularly missed/ignored on the devel list, including a signed patch, so I personally think a bug tracker would be a better option. Bug trackers don't (or at least shouldn't :) ) forget or miss. That's they're raison d'etre. I honestly don't know how anyone can do business using this list, but that's just my humble opinion.
> Did you also look in the MAINTAINERS file to make sure you copied the right
> maintainer?
> The reason for skipping the Bugzilla system is that it is soo out of date that
> we don't use it anymore.

Actually I recall there is a secondary reason too - which is that we get copied
on distros bugs that affect Xen. For example in Fedora I (and Dariof) get copied on
any Linux kernel issues that are related to Xen. In Debian I believe Ian Campbell
gets copied as well. For SuSE it is Jan and Olaf. Not sure about the other distros.

And then if you use Oracle Linux, I get copied too. Then there is the internal bug system
if you using OVM and the Linux kernel bug-system where I get copied too.

That is a lot of bug systems to keep track of - and since most of the users use a
distro they end up using their distro bug-system. And then Xen's bugzilla system
became less and less important to keep track of stuff.

Oh, and there are the five mailing lists and the fire-hose LKML. Yuck, soo many emails.

Now I have to admit that everytime anybody reports an issue on xen-devel that regards
Linux I try to respond ASAP. Unfortunatly I miss it sometimes - and this Xen 4.3 release
overlapped with Linux v3.10 merge window (And my vacation) - so it was a triple whammy
when it came to keeping track of things. To keep track of things, and of all of those
different bug systems, and of what to get done for Xen or Linux I have a text file.

It is mostly FIFO with the 'oh wow, this needs to be fixed NOW!' preempting it.
In all honestly it sucks as a track system, but I am not really sure of how else to do this
without spending a massive time doing 'click here on this button and add this comment,
set dependency on this bug' and instead concentrate my time in an editor.

I believe we need something that can bridge both of these - helping developers to
know about bugs and also track them so users know that things are done and not ignored.
And so low maintaince for developers that they can focus on looking at code all day.

You bring up what seems to me is an obvious point: If developers are busy... developing... Why should they sacrifice time spent focusing on any given issue to 1) prioritize which issues should be the responsibility of an individual developer, and 2) assigning weight to these issues based on each of your own arbitrary sets of skills, requirements, etc?  If I understand the principles of open source projects (and I admit: I may not!), such responsibility usually falls on the project leader[s].  Xen, however, is just seemingly so damn big that it's nearly impossible to consolidate everything to the point where these decisions can be made, especially with regard to bug tracking and fixing.  At least that's the sense I'm getting as I've followed this thread for the last week or so ;-)

Your suggestion, Konrad, of something that will bridge the gap---regardless of whether that gap really stems from an issue of size and scope as I suggest, or even if I'm off base, just so long as the real issue is similar enough---is definitely what I, too, suspect is needed.

Out of all the solutions that exist---and I lost count of the number of pieces of software that have been mentioned in this thread---it's painfully obvious that the search for the "Silver Bullet" has been an unfortunate failure up to this point.  While I'm loathe to say it, especially since solving problems with software is a solution we all love and respect, the only thing I've been able to think of that will fill the void and bridge that gap is relatively simple, but far from easy: a human touch.

Pick the bug tracking system that the developers want to work with, and then have someone whose sole responsibility is to keep it neat, organized, and summarized.  As bugs reach certain threshholds, the bug list curator can nudge a developer for an update, and even if the curator doesn't get one, at least information can be compiled and "attacked" from the other direction. In this fashion, at least if a developer goes AWOL on a bug because it's low priority or deprecated code or whatnot, all he has to do is answer an email and the rest of the filing and tracking duties are taken care of by someone else.  And if there's anything that I'm getting from this thread, it's a sense that keeping things as simple as email without having to wade through the sometimes mind-boggling volume of email on the Xen-Devel list is the only thing on which a large number of people seem to agree.... myself included ;-)


I've come back to the Xen project over and over again because it really is some terrific software.  The more I think about it, the more I see a world in which the future of all computing takes place on top of Xen and Linux, as the combination of the two come ever closer to blurring the lines between firmware and OS.  One day I expect that I'll stop syncing data from one place to the next and it'll all just live on Amazon or at my house, and I'll use the same operating system---the exact same instance---on every device.  It's an exciting time to be a nerd ;-)

BTW, did I mention that Oracle is looking to hire Xen and Linux developers :-)

Any chance that the full-time position I mention above is one of them? :-D

Best Regards,
Andrew Bobulsky

> >
> > As professional developer and application support bod myself, I wouldn't ask anybody to read that missive; I wouldn't get any bug reports ever!
> >
> >
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