[Squeakfoundation]Final steps for harvesting

Doug Way dway at riskmetrics.com
Mon Mar 24 19:56:56 CET 2003

As discussed earlier, I think we are ready to start incorporating fixes &
small enhancements from the SQFIXES page ( http://swiki.gsug.org:8080/SQFIXES/
) into 3.6alpha, even though we still need to discuss the larger items which
will make up 3.6.

The process for entering and tagging submissions looks pretty good.  I want to
nail down the final steps of the process, so that we can start moving stuff
into the update stream.

For incorporating [FIX]es, we agreed that the fix needs to be approved by one
Harvester.  (Harvester meaning a Guide, a member of SqC, or a harvesting
volunteer from the original list of harvesters.  Hmm, I need to contact the
people on that list to see who is still interested.)

To make things clear, the harvester should use a special keyword (which we
should agree on now) such as "[approved]" in the parentheses of the SQFIXES
entry.  That way I can do a simple search on the SQFIXES page to check for
recently approved items.

After an item has been approved, one thing that we still want is a chance for
other harvesters (and perhaps anyone else) to note that the item is about to
go into the update stream, and voice any last minute opposition or
refinements.  For example, "Wait a second, we don't want to just change
frobozz like that... that could cause problems for this other doohickey."

With the previous harvesting process, each harvester had to submit a .zip file
of a bundle of harvested changes to a largish list of people, which provided a
convenient sort of last-minute screening for things.  In theory, we could do
something similar with submitting bundles to this SqF list, but that seems a
bit too heavyweight for me.  Perhaps we should just allow a certain amount of
time to pass (say, at least 3 days) after an item has been approved, before it
gets added to the update stream.  This will give people a chance to say "Hey
wait a minute".  However, this requires that harvesters do a reasonable job of
tracking the SQFIXES page on a semi-regular basis to see what new stuff is
about to go in, rather than having a summary conveniently arrive in an email. 
But I think this is probably workable.

Another thing I should probably do is add one last tag/keyword to SQFIXES
entries which are being added to the update stream.  It could be ([update]) or
something like that.  (The 3 day delay could happen between [approved] and
[update], or it could happen between adding the [update] tag and actually
adding the fix to the update stream.  Hmm, probably the former makes more
sense.)  Realistically, I may only incorporate things into the update stream
once per week or so, so the delay could vary from 3-10 days or something like
that.  But that's still a pretty decent turnaround compared to what we have

Yet one more issue is whether we want to have stricter standards for
[ENH]ancements.  We talked about requiring approval from two harvesters.  Or
perhaps approval from one harvester, plus an [et] from any other third party
would suffice.  Hmm.  (I suppose one drawback of having stricter standards is
that people might be tempted to call something a fix which is really more of
an enhancement.)

(I guess this post doesn't cover the issue of whether any of the [sl], [er],
etc., tags should be mandatory before an item is approved by a harvester. 
Certainly any such tags should make it more likely that an item will be
seriously looked at.  I'd say we could probably get started incorporating
stuff without requiring mandatory tags, and figure out which ones really need
to be mandatory after going through the process for a little while.  Probably
[et] and [er] should be required, at least, although the harvester could
supply those tags upon approval, if no one else does.)

Anyway, we can try something like I outlined above.  Does this all sound
reasonable?  The only thing I'm still not sure about is whether we want
stricter standards for enhancements.

- Doug Way

p.s. Once this is sorted out, I do need to update the various harvesting web
pages that Tim mentioned.  And yes, a fancier harvesting system will be coming
eventually, but probably not for a while.

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