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Re: [Bacula-devel] Source Forge problems

On Saturday 09 August 2008 18:36:29 Frank Sweetser wrote:
> Kern Sibbald wrote:
> > I really appreciate the offer of help, because I badly need it.  Here is
> > where I am on this project ...
> >
> > I am having second thoughts about using Launchpad for several reasons
> > (but no second thoughts about trying Bazaar and finding some way to use
> > email with our bugs database -- or a new database).
> >
> > My current concerns about Launchpad are the following:
> > 1. They have not at all been responsive (after their initial very rapid
> > response) -- they have not responded to a request for help importing, and
> > they are unsuccessful in importing the Bacula SVN (see Bacula at
> > Launchpad for details).
> That's certainly not a good sign...
> > 2. It appears that I loose virtually all control over the project in
> > Launchpad in the following respects:
> >   - Anyone can import code into the Bacula area.  E.g. one (probably well
> > meaning user) has tried to import the whole Bacula SVN into the Bacula
> > area under the name "trunc" while I have already asked to import it as as
> > "trunk". That is going to create enormous confusion and possibly
> > frustration if someone chooses the wrong trunk.  In addition, I have *no*
> > way of contacting this user as his email address is private.
> >   - I am ready to allow anyone to make all kinds of branches of Bacula,
> > but the above situation is not very conducive to running a professional
> > project (naming problems, anyone can do almost anything, and I cannot
> > even discuss it with them).
> Um... wow.  And here I thought that the "distributed" part of "distributed
> version control" meant that contributors could easily create their own repo
> and modify it to their hearts content, without requiring write access to
> the officially published one.

Yes, that is exactly how it works.

> Making it easy to create new branches in the main repository is obviously a
> good thing, but no access controls at all seems like it's going just a bit
> too far to me.

The problem is that the repo is Launchpad Bacula, and in the particular case I 
mention, the user created a branch, which shows up on the main Bacula page in 
launchpad.  It is possible to restrict who writes into the main trunk (though 
it is not so obvious on Launchpad), but it apparently is not possible to 
restrict users from creating any "public" branch of any name, even ones the 
project would like to reserve.

> > 3. I asked them to import our bugs database, but no feedback.
> >
> > So, I am now importing the Bacula SVN here at my site into Bazaar (will
> > complete in a few hours) -- here is probably not appropriate for
> > rehosting the SVN/Bazaar repository because I only have about 500KB/sec
> > upload speed, but it is good for testing so I can make some decision.  I
> > am working on having a hosting arrangement in the next month or so where
> > I can install a machine that will have at least 1Gb ethernet access and
> > that goes into Fiber the problem is that kind of thing is pretty
> > expensive ...
> If needed, I can see if I can provision a decently specced out server (or
> at least a VM) that I can host at work.
> If I'm reading the docs right, it looks like the biggest difficulty would
> be how to manager user accounts, since Bazaar depends exclusively on sftp
> to push commits.

Well, (I think ????) it now handles more than sftp -- https, ssh for example.  
In general, I don't think the management of user accounts will be difficult. 
Everyone should have read permission, and those who have write permission are 
a very limited number of people (< 20) and they don't change very often ...

> > If anyone has any ideas either how to make Mantis accept email input or
> > knows about another simple bugs database that does, I am open there.  I
> > do like Mantis a lot for the following reasons:
> >
> > 1. It seems *much* simpler than things like bugzilla, which is good for
> > users 2. It has given us no problems at all.
> >
> > What I don't like about it:
> > 1. It doesn't distinguish between need user Feedback and the bug fixers
> > are working on the problem.  It simply reports "Feedback".  Other bug
> > systems have something like "Feedback" and "InProgress" -- it might be
> > possible to customize this.
> >
> > 2. It has no email interface (or at least we are not using it if it
> > exists). This means that it is hard to make simple one or two line
> > responses -- I must always log in through the web interface to do
> > anything.
> All I could find on this is a somewhat stale page on the mantis wiki:
> http://www.mantisbt.org/wiki/doku.php/mantisbt:reporting_via_email

Yes, I think it is a wishlist item, and there is an obvious spam problem, but 
providing it does some primitive check against who has a login, I don't see 
spam as a big problem.

> > 3. I don't know anyway that we can hook Mantis to Bazaar, which supports
> > interfacing with bugs databases.
> It looks like having Bazaar point to Mantis should be fairly
> straightforward:
> http://doc.bazaar-vcs.org/bzr.dev/en/user-reference/bzr_man.html#bug-tracke

I know Bazaar can deal with Bugzilla, RT, Trac, and a few others, but I am not 
sure about Mantis. 

> I have no idea about referencing Bazaar objects from within Mantis.
> > I haven't had the time to look at what Launchpad is using as a bugs
> > database.
> >
> > Another thing I like about Launchpad is the Answers stuff.  It is
> > basically a nice email list with a Web browser built in so that you can
> > use either email or a browser.  This would *really* help new users who
> > are looking for what has been previously discussed because in general web
> > browser interfaces permit better searching.
> If I'm understanding what you're looking for, it sounds like we could get
> at least some of that functionality via a good FAQ management tool.

Yes, possibly.  Answers is nice, but it is 3rd on my priorities.  The first 
two are:

 - Possible switch from svn to Bazaar
 - Look at bug tracking systems
 - Answers type email lists

> > Another possibility is possibly hosting the Launchpad code ourselves, but
> > that seems like *way* too much work at this time ...
> >
> >
> > Things that would help me for Bazaar are:
> > 1. Recommendation on Bazaar "Team collaboration" style:
> >   - Centralized development
> >   - Decentralized with shared mainline
> >   - Decentralized with human gatekeeper
> >   - Decentralized with automatic gatekeeper
> > ...
> >
> > I suspect that Decentralized with automatic gatekeeper (and commit
> > restricted to specific developers) would work pretty well.
> >
> > Then there is a question of how to setup a secure server (FastCGI,
> > mod_python, smart_server, ...)
> >
> > It is going to take some time to digest all this ...
> Indeed.

Well, after something like 8 hours importing the SVN into Bazaar, it failed 
with an error message which was a few thousand lines long.

I am going to retry the import using a Python conversion tool operating 
directly on an SVN dump of my local mirrored repository rather than having it 
try to read from the SVN, which may be down because of the SF problems ...



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