[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] roots duties and rights

Attila Kinali attila
Tue Oct 12 14:05:42 CEST 2010

On Tue, 12 Oct 2010 12:42:00 +0200
Michael Niedermayer <michaelni at gmx.at> wrote:

> > The above reads like you are looking for an admin/root who does this
> > as a paid job and not as a volunteer, who does this in his free time,
> > between job, wife and kids. Which is kind of disturbing, because you
> > should be well aware that everyone who works on FFmpeg or MPlayer is
> > a volunteer and hardly anyone gets actually money for working on these
> > projects. Yes, a lot of things that a "comercial" admin has to do is kind
> > of expected of a volunteer admin as well, but the way you formulate it
> > makes it a strict requirement, which will scare off anyone who might
> > want to take over this post. Keep in mind, we are all human beings who
> > like to do fun things.
> ok, i see some of this is unwisely formulated but still root has pretty much
> done these things in the last 5 years, and you have done them well

We've done that on a best-effort basis. Ie we did what we could
reasonably do and left the rest out. What you formulate here sound
like strict requirements. Of course, best-effort is not optimal, but
as i said before, it's a volunteer work.

You can see where we failed at examples like the svn webinterface or
reaction times on "easy" jobs that went for weeks unanswered.
> > You also use very ambigous terms in your requirements like "smoothly"
> > or "quickly". What these exactly mean and how they are interpreted is
> > not clear at all. For someone who is busy, a reaction time of a week
> > is pretty fast. For someone who does nothing but to sit idly around,
> > a day can be expected.
> > Yet, i get the feeling if something is not
> > done "quickly" by your definition of "quickly", the poor guy who was
> > supposed to do the job will get roasted.
> if the server starts spreading warez and ffmpeg with rootkit for a month without
> root reacting. Then root will be roasted by lawsuits with a bit poor luck.
> I thus think no matter what we write in the "rules" reasonable reaction times
> are something that anyone running a server has to be able to handle.

Don't worry about lawsuits. Nobody can sue us for negligence on a volunteer
work. At least not in europe. We would have to actively spread warez to
be held liable. Also, in case we do not react fast enough you can be sure
that our ISP will react and take the server offline until we fix it.

> > So, you want someone who is totally unrelated to any project hosted
> > by mphq and want him still be interested enough to invest a major part
> > of his free time into the server? What, do you think, will be his motivation
> > to do the job?
> My idea was mostly that we could have a single trusted root. someone who has
> been active in the past and is trusted by all (like you or fabrice) and this
> person would delegate most work to others so would not have much to do but
> rather ensure that no abuse of power happens.

Do i understand you correctly, that you expect me to delegate work that
require root access to people who are not entirely trusted by others?
That doesn't make sense. Unless of course you'd accept my decision to
delegate the work to people like Diego and Mans, whom i trust but others
seem unhappy with.

Beside, this "delegate" to others doesn't seem to quite work out, as
you've seen yourself with incoming.

> > > -Root may resign, in which case new candidates shall be found and a vote
> > >  amongth all developers who had write access prior to the resignation shall be
> > >  held. 
> > 
> > You cannot be serious?!? The right to resign? In a OSS project? WTF?
> > I have the right to do or not do anything i want. Nobody can take that
> > away from me. And nobody had to spell that out until now. If i dont like
> > it, i can even disapear from one second to the next without a word or
> > anything. Heck, this is a hobby and not slave labor!
> Iam a technical person and i like mathematics, to me spelling out all rights
> i could think off is just logic.I had no intent to offend anyone
> To me there is
> A. root can resign
> B. root cannot resign
> B is clearly unacceptable, so it has to be A

You might like mathematics, but you are no robot, are you? Please take
a few minutes to think about how such sentences make other peoples feel.
Otherwise you'll go down the same road as Uoti did.

> > > -Like everyone root can be busy with family, military, jail, girls, pizza,
> > >  flamewar
> > >  in which case it is understood that root cannot attend to their duties for a
> > >  while. But its expected that the roots at least try to have 1 person of them
> > >  reachable by some means of communication within reasonable time intervals
> > >  who has then some kind of internet access within reasonable distance in case
> > >  of emergencies.
> > 
> > So, you want to have an SLA? Are you prepared to pay for it?
> > A simple 5d reaction time, Mo-Fr 9-17 SLA for a single server
> > costs already well over 10kEUR/y.
> i said none of that
> the text just says that root should try. And i can hire someone for 10 euro
> per year for "try" he just can say then he tried and failed all the time ...

This is why we have three people whe take care of natsuki. In the last
5 years there were in total 3 weeks or so, when all of root were hard to
reach (ie not checking IRC, emails,... every few minutes). Given the
nature of mphq, i'd say this is more than good enough.

			Attila Kinali

WYSIWYG is not a solution, it is the problem, and until we get around to
realizing that very few of us are competent to design fonts, styles, or
layout (14-year-old girls who dot their i's with hearts excepted, of course,
the exception that nails down the lid on the coffin), we're going to have to
live with that crap.
                -- Stephen J. Turnbull in a discussion about word processors

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