Broken every other week

I’m seriously disappointed in Gentoo; even after my last post on the topic the Gentoo quality seems to be on a downward spiral, rather than climbing up. The problem is social: too many developers don’t give a f♥♥k.

Let me be clear: I’m not pretending that we should be never wrong, and that mistakes can’t happen. We are, they happen. This is why we have the unstable/testing support. But at the same time, we should still try to think twice and commit once.

Hey, I screwed up Friday night. I launched a double-commit without checking its status, committing virtual/ruby-ssl and www-servers/thin… but the former’s commit was rejected by repoman and I didn’t even notice. Thankfully Mr Bones was around to notify me, and Luca was able to commit a workaround for me until I got home (I was at my sister’s for her birthday dinner).

So what kind of problems upset, demoralise and disappoint me? It’s the most pernicious ones; like those we’ve been warning about for years, those that we could see coming from a mile away, and those that are caused by sheer lack of testing for important packages.

Say you’re a developer who’s already been warned to doublecheck what you do, and asked to use package.mask before committing big changes regarding the language the official package manager is written in. When you’re just disregarding this, trying to force a new version of the language altogether; ignoring the whole (known) problem of dependencies on multiple implementations, … you probably are screaming as loud as you can “I’m going to break the tree sooner or later”.

Say you’re an old-time developer that was known to do a relatively clean work albeit scarcely documented, and you start making mistakes like forgetting to update your own wrapper when bumping autoconf (sure it’s masked, but it means you’ve not even barely tested the thing); say you actually commit half-broken ebuilds for a while; I can’t stop wondering what is wrong with you when you actually blame me for not covering your (scarcely documented at all) use case with NFS when I actually fix it to work for Kerberos (before my involvement, it didn’t work for either case, after my original involvement, it covered one case fully). Do you still think you should be the one voicing opinions about the Quality Assurance team?

And if you say that “the new GLIBC works for me”, are you saying that the package itself builds or if it’s actually integrated correctly? Because, you know, I used to rebuild the whole system whenever I made a change to basic system packages when I maintained Gentoo/FreeBSD, and saying that it’s ready for ~arch when you haven’t even rebuilt the system (and you haven’t, or you would have noticed that m4 was broken) is definitely something I’d define as reckless and I’d venture to say you’re not good material to work on the quality assurance status.

I’m just tired, very very tired, of repeating the same post over and over again. Gentoo needs stronger QA. Full stop.