Res: Open Letter: Why I, Kevin Kofler, am not rerunning for FESCo

Peter Jones pjones at
Tue May 4 18:20:50 UTC 2010

On 05/04/2010 01:40 PM, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Peter Jones wrote:
>> I'm sorry you don't like it, but you've had ample occasion to come up with
>> a better idea, and you have roundly refused to make any attempt at doing
>> so.
> "I'm sorry you don't like my plate of Merde Provençale, but you've had ample 
> occation to come up with a better recipe for feces, and you have roundly 
> refused to make any attempt at doing so."
> See the problem there? (Hint: the basic assumption that you want to eat sh*t 
> in the first place!)

That's a nice analogy; both vulgar and vacuous. Entirely inapt, but clever.

> You were only interested in "better ideas" under a very narrow initial 
> assumption which I don't share. Of course I was not interested in trying to 
> coming up with "better ideas" under those conditions, as I don't believe 
> that to be possible in the first place. You did not give any consideration 
> to the fact that your initial premises may be broken and incorrect (which 
> they happen to be).

The initial premise was that we've released several updates that turned out
to introduce major bugs. I know you don't agree with that, since you've
repeatedly discounted that premise in FESCo meetings and even in this thread,
but that doesn't make it not the case.

>> You keep saying that, and it just shows a complete disregard for testing
>> in general. Asking people to test it and simply flag that they've done so
>> with success (or not) is very much not bureaucracy.
> I don't believe testing to be the answer to everything. It's far from 
> infallible, it's also not the only possible form of QA.

Sure, but you're (repeatedly) asserting, essentially, that it can't fix
anything and that requiring testing is of no merit because <handwave
about double checking your own work>.

> There are changes which don't need testing, for example if a patch
> was dropped because we thought it wasn't needed anymore, and it turns
> out the patch is still needed, readding the patch needs no testing
> whatsoever because the patch has ALREADY been tested, plus it's
> fixing a regression.

Don't you realize that the testing also helps test procedural and
typographical errors? For instance the case (which I've certainly done
before) where a maintainer accidentally adds a Patch: line without a
%patch line? This is part of the very scenario which you claim doesn't
need testing. My experience is that it clearly does, because it's simple,
it's easy to do, and it's trivial to get it right - and I screw it up

> This is why the latest qt update went out straight to stable. And no,
> testing did NOT catch the regression. Right after the update went
> stable, we got the report. You have to accept that most users will
> NOT try out a package until after it hits stable.

Nobody is saying that it's a panacea. We're saying that testing can catch
things that not testing won't, and that these are important things with
substantial consequences. We're not saying it'll catch everything, though
every counterpoint you come up with does seem to presume that we are saying

>> We trust their intent and their ability, because that's reasonable. We
>> don't trust that they never make mistakes, because that's insane. We all
>> make mistakes. The karma system is an attempt to mitigate the damage when
>> that (very frequent) eventuality occurs.
> You need to prove that "very frequent" assertion. I don't see this as being 
> true at all, quite the opposite. It almost never happens with the current 
> system.

You had this discussion during the FESCo meeting on the 23rd of February, and
several people provided counterexamples to your assertion that it doesn't
happen often. It is regretful that you don't seem to have noticed.

> Maintainers ALREADY use testing and keep feedback into account. Why 
> do we need to FORCE them to? We should TRUST our maintainers!

The person claiming we don't trust our maintainers is you.

Honestly, I'm not really sure why we're still attempting to have a discussion
with you about this, but letting your claims stand seems irresponsible to me.


RFC 882 put the dots in .com.

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