[Rebuild] Communication to data consumers wrt the licence change (draft)
frederik at remote.org
Fri Mar 23 20:50:12 GMT 2012
On 03/23/2012 04:17 PM, Dermot McNally wrote:
> So the "we" in Simon's words is either me and Matt or just Matt, in
> as much as defer to his judgement on matters relating to his code and
> how best to deploy it.
Right. And as far as I understood, Matt has never ever said that he
prefers the offline process. Instead, he has said that in the absence of
anything "having to be completed" on 1st April, he would actually prefer
the online process, but that this is surely not going to be complete on
So either I have completely misread what Matt has said, or else other
people are, in their heads, combining the "oh god we must have something
to show on 1st April" panic that emanates from OSMF board with Matt's
factual "offline process is better but not going to be completed on 1st
April", and arriving at: "Matt (a technician to whose judgement we can
defer) says that offline is better."
Which would be a really grand mis-interpretation of what he says.
And the reason I am so upset about this is the untruthfulness.
I want the board to stand up and say: "Yes, we have heard Matt who has
said that the online process is better but cannot be completed by April
1st. We have also heard that even the offline process is not guaranteed
to be completed by April 1st. We chose to *ignore* the sentiment of the
technician because we think that the offline process is actually better
for the project."
What is happening here is that Matt, a technician with no history of
political grand-standing, is being mis-quoted because of those who want
results by April 1st no matter what the cost, nobody actually has the
spine to say it.
> Rather Matt reached the conclusion that to have a sufficiently
> performant rebuild process, the offline approach, which is by
> definition faster than the live one, would be a better bet.
Again, this is only true if you insert *someone else*'s definition of
"sufficiently performant". Matt never said (and of course he can correct
me if I misrepresent him) that, say, completing in Mid-April is not
> That we are now discussing it is good. I'd prefer that we not do so
> under a cloud of conspiracy theories and threats of retribution.
Remember when only recently Steve and Mikel signed an anti-Google blog
post with their osmfoundation.org email addresses and there were
different opinions from different board members as to whether this had
been a board decision or not. *This* is the environment in which we are
operating. I want full accountability, not "Oh, I thought that Matt had
recommended this option. Now you say he didn't? I'm confused. Surely I
would never have given the orders to shut down the database for a week...".
But let me get back to the most prominent reason why I am skeptical of
the "hard" cutover.
The "soft" cutover is one where the API functions normally for how ever
long it takes to make the changes. My estimate is that this might be two
weeks. If it is done after one week, or if it should take three weeks or
god forbid even four, the project will not be hurt apart from the fact
that the license change is delayed (which, considering that we're so
late in giving proper notice, would perhaps not even be a bad thing).
This means that even if something should go wrong, we'll be in a
situation where technicians can still get the sleep that is required to
keep their health up, where they can still do their day job, and all.
On the other hand, the "hard" cutover means that most - or even all -
activity in the project comes to a halt while the change is going on. I
agree with you that this is not a problem if it can be done in a day or
two. However, it is entirely possible, and indeed likely, that it will
take longer. That after the end of one day, a mistake is spotted that
requires that we have to re-start. That something breaks, a transaction
aborts, whatever. Remember this is the very first time this code is
used. Shit *will* happen. And when it happens, the eyes of all of OSM
are upon the - as you correctly say - too few people handling this.
People who have a day job, a real life, maybe even a family. The whole
project is halted, and a handful of people (likely less) will have to
work day and night to get things going again. Or, to decide to continue
with a half-working solution because there's no time to fix the bug
properly. And so on.
I can see that somebody who wants to get the license change done by 1st
April at all costs would prefer the second option. Not because it
promises to be faster, but because it makes sure that the community
squeezes every last drop of energy out of the few who have to do the job.
But I don't think it is good. It's not good style to treat your own
people like that, to wantonly create such a high-stress situation. It is
not good leadership, it is not good management, it is just reckless, and
all for this stupid "April 1st" fetish. I don't like the spirit behind
this, I don't like the attitude, I don't like an OSM Foundation that
sets its priorities in this way.
You may be wishing Matt a happy birthday but at the same time you're
pushing forward a plan that makes him and possibly a very small number
of others the single point of failure of the whole project for days,
when this could easily be avoided.
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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