[Libre-soc-dev] nlnet grant for funding maintenance/development of website/bugzilla

lkcl luke.leighton at gmail.com
Wed Nov 24 21:59:30 GMT 2021

On November 24, 2021 9:18:08 PM UTC, Reuben Lifshay <rlifshay at gmail.com> wrote:

>That's an impressive number of services and load average  for that one

only 1.25 GB of RAM as well. it's what happens if you've witnessed Hell By Ruby / PHP / Django / Zope / Node over 2 decades, you learn quickly that, actually, much older technology (bugzilla) or technology specifically designed for low maintenance is worthwhile learning.

we installed gitlab 2 years ago.  loadavg at idle was 0.6 and the entire 1.25 GB RAM was taken up.  no actual users.

>I can certainly understand that. I know you have limited resources and
>have to decide wisely how to use them.

it's a conscious practical choice as well.  Google Project Ara failed after USD 125 million because 3rd party component suppliers got greedy.

limited resources forces - requires - creative thinking.

>I apologize, I may have been a bit unclear as to what I was interested
>in discussing in my previous email. We took interest initially on the
>infrastructure and hosting improvements, but after the previous
>conversations we understand that PM and administration is the more
>important task and we are interested in discussing that further.


well, there is a practical task needed: we manage the budget of the entire project through the bugzilla database: initially this was done by manual checking and addition of amounts, until jacob came up with the idea of using bugzilla's RPC interface.

the data is extracted and then checked, and markdown files created.


the generated files tell each person which tasks they have submitted a Request for Payment, which they have yet to submit, and which they have been paid for, in convenient subsections.

also there are CSV files autogenerated which tell NLnet's Accountant who has yet to submit an RfP for a given milestone.

what we don't have is:

* a way to generate the RfP email contents 
* a way to read that RfP back in and use it to set the 
  date of payment

and also what we don't have is:

* someone other than me to go round querying
   everyone to get them to
   a) remind them to do the work
   b) put in their RfPs

we actually have one person who is owed probably around USD 4,000 but because they have never done an RfP they expect me to do it for them.  when i explained that i am busy but could guide them through it: no response.

these are the kinds of things i need help with: even just walking people through the process takes up my time.

also, now that i think about it, we really need a kan-ban board (on top of bugzilla).  we found one, installed it: it was s***.  just one user completely overloaded the server, and trashed the resources of mobile browsers (enough memory consumed to actually cause a phone to reboot).

again, here, day-to-day task prioritisation and time estimates are crucial, and need someone dedicated to going round actually getting task time estimates out of people, then walking them through whether
 (a) they are accurate
 (b) getting them to go through post-analysis feedback when they are not
 (c) giving me information i need as to whether we are going to meet the contractual deadline and if not
 (d) what we can cut back on drastically so that (c) becomes true.

again: if i am doing that, it distracts me from concentrating right now on some of the hardest Software Engineering tasks in 28 years that i've ever done (and that's saying something)

NLnet is happy with Grant Requests up to EUR 50,000. if those tasks happen to create code that is "general and anyone can use them", then that's even better.

both the budget-sync program and the kan-ban board qualify in spades: also they are definitely "user-operated".  part of the budget would also include "documentation so other people can install and use them".



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