Mantis Experiment a Failure? Are we ready yet to move on?

goran at goran at
Wed Nov 7 09:34:57 UTC 2007

Hi folks!

As being lead on Gjallar I felt my view might be worthwhile hearing.

Jerome Peace <peace_the_dreamer at> wrote:
> Sigh, I usually hold on to impassioned mail for a few
> days to see if I want to tone it down. I will take my
> chances sending this now. The matter is too important
> not to chime in on. Please take this for what it is
> and remember that emailed criticm often sounds harsher
> than it is intended.

No problem! I am snipping things here, only the pieces that might be
interesting to hear comments on:
> I don't want to eat more squeak project dog food.  At
> least not here. Not now.

Gjallar is not built for the Squeak community. It just happens to be an
issue tracker, so it is not dog food "for its own sake".
> Each problem in squeak seems to cause some in the
> community to try to solve it with a squeak tool that
> hasn't been invented yet.

Again, if you mean Gjallar (which you may not mean) then it was not
created for the Squeak community - it is a system built for the needs of
a customer.

> All experience has shown
> that integrating a new tool into squeak comes with
> risks and problems and diverts efforts from finding
> current bugs into finding the newly introduced bugs.
> I use mantis all the time it works fine for my
> purposes, which is reporting, analysing and fixing
> problems. 
> The release teams use mantis and it works well for the
> purpose of finding fixes in a harvestable state.

Mantis is quite fine for most stuff if you ask me. But it fails for some
things IMHO - mainly lack of email integration and/or doesn't fit our
rather distributed package world. Again IMHO. But... I am not arguing
either way, just mentioning it. Some of this we (me and Matthew) want to
fix with DeltaStreams in fact.
> The meta-problem is not that mantis is not used by
> many of the community because they have not caught on
> to is merits and usefulness.
> The problem is simply that they have not caught on to
> its merits and its usefulness.

Ehm... lost me there.

> The other meta-problem is communication to and
> training of the community.
> Squeak-dev has scarce resources. Mantis is maintained
> by a large resourceful group of folks outside of the
> squeak community.
> They can provide better support for a bug tracker that
> we can even if our development tools are better.
> Maybe we are not using the mantis communication
> resources we have in the best way?
> Mantis not only allows accumulating information on a
> single topic. It can also write letters to those who
> should know about them.
> But nobody is maintaining the list of reporters to see
> if we have current emails. Or live reporters for that
> matter. 
> (This requires the same thing we do with mailling
> lists send out occasional reminders and are you still
> there mail).

Would just like to also mention that Gjallar has far more advanced email
capabilities than Mantis has.

> You could also sign up mailing lists as reporters so
> reminders (I E. bug reports) could be sent to those
> lists. This would need to be done cautiously lest a
> list get swamped with mantis spam. But it could be
> done and it would increase communication and
> awareness.
> The current urgent problem in developing squeak images
> is the mess that the MC decision in 3dot9 made of
> image maintainence.
> That is where I would hope to see the effort of the
> communities best and brightest go. 

I try to pull my share of that particular load in the DeltaStreams

> Please use mantis now. It serves its purpose well.

I will never advocate Gjallar unless there are willing souls helping out
with such an endeavour btw. And also, it needs some testing and
adaptation etc.

But Gjallar continues completely independent on the Squeak community's
need for issue tracking - it is driven mainly by business opportunities.

regards, Göran

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