Project management changes proposed

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Profile David Anderson
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Message 80664 - Posted: 1 Sep 2017, 22:24:38 UTC

In July 2017 a committee was formed to propose improvements to the BOINC project. Two draft documents are now available for discussion and review: development workflow and governance model. Please give feedback by replying to this thread or posting to the boinc_dev email list.
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robsmith
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Message 80692 - Posted: 2 Sep 2017, 18:30:07 UTC

One comment for now. In the "development workflow" document the following is stated:
This could be because the software is doing something wrong (a bug report) or this could be because the software does not yet do something that somebody needs it to do (feature request).


I hope that folks will recognise the difference between "want" and "need", unlike many youngsters who can't tell that they may "want" the latest in trainers, but they don't "need" those trainers (unless of course their old one's are either worn out or don't fit).
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Profile Chris S
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Message 80700 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 5:17:59 UTC

It has been alleged that some people and teams have hacked into the Boinc code and altered it to produce enhanced levels of downloaded work. I have no direct evidence of that only the allegations of others. But if true, can something be done about that, as it doesn't seem right.
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MarkJ
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Message 80703 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 7:13:35 UTC - in response to Message 80700.  
Last modified: 3 Sep 2017, 7:19:13 UTC

It has been alleged that some people and teams have hacked into the Boinc code and altered it to produce enhanced levels of downloaded work. I have no direct evidence of that only the allegations of others. But if true, can something be done about that, as it doesn't seem right.

Getting off-topic here but I believe all they did was adjust the hard limit of 1000 tasks that BOINC would show/manage. That was added a while back when they found the core client would use large amounts of CPU and memory. Older versions of BOINC don't have the limit anyway. No I don't have one of these versions, I only have repo-supplied versions of BOINC on my rigs.

Being open source there isn't anything much they can do about it, assuming they considered it to be an issue. Project servers can apply their own limits regardless of the core client allowing for more.
MarkJ
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 80707 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 8:25:26 UTC

I think it was the size (transmission bandwidth) of the sched_request files which was the concern for some projects. But this is very far from the project management debate: if people want to go on discussing task limits, I'll create a thread for you in another area and you can take the discussion there.
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Message 80709 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 11:39:32 UTC - in response to Message 80664.  
Last modified: 3 Sep 2017, 11:40:13 UTC

In July 2017 a committee was formed to propose improvements to the BOINC project. Two draft documents are now available for discussion and review.

First, thanks for proposing the drafts, i know a lot of effort has gone in, i'm sure there are multiple contributors and some consensus. Often the discussion better describes the change. Authors and contributors should always be credited.

If the documents are draft / approved etc, can this be immediately clear from the document?

Publishing them as web pages is probably not conducive to change control. Searching for Governance for example via a search on the boinc website reveals the draft first and "master" second.

The current "master" Governance version i believe is via a link from here http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/ProjectGovernance

I don't know what the "master" of the development work flow is maybe here http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/DevProcess ?

Both documents Governance and Development should be under source and project control.

What is the process (now / future) for changes to them?

Both draft documents do not show the changes clearly from original, and if changes are proposed, those changes should be made clear.

Can the changes from current masters please be shown clearly?

I know it's a minor thing but grammatical style. Some of the new sections in the Governance document switches to "second person" . Easily found by searching for "you ".
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Profile Chris S
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Message 80710 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 11:56:45 UTC

I think the two draft documents are excellent. I would have no problem in endorsing either of them. Grammar or tense is not important, it is the substance of the documents that matter, and the spirit within which they were written.
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Kevin Reed

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Message 80717 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 13:38:36 UTC - in response to Message 80709.  
Last modified: 3 Sep 2017, 13:39:09 UTC

Authors and contributors should always be credited.

The documents are the work of the committee, the members of which are listed at: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/Process_proposals


If the documents are draft / approved etc, can this be immediately clear from the document?

I've added headers indicating this.


Publishing them as web pages is probably not conducive to change control.

They are wiki pages and thus change in them can be viewed.


I don't know what the "master" of the development work flow is maybe here http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/DevProcess

There is not an existing version of this document. The lack of it resulted in assumptions made about how to develop on github. This document serves to define the process in one place for everyone to work from a common understanding.


What is the process (now / future) for changes to them?

The process is documented in the governance document. Changes to governance document requires a vote of the PMC as outlined in the governance document. Changes to the development process require vote of the committers.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 80722 - Posted: 3 Sep 2017, 14:25:30 UTC - in response to Message 80717.  
Last modified: 3 Sep 2017, 14:27:35 UTC

Changes to governance document requires a vote of the PMC as outlined in the governance document.
The existing governance document was correctly linked by the questioner, and remains in force unless and until a revision is approved.

As with all governing instruments, the bar for changing the status quo was set deliberately high (in our case, requiring a 75% affirmative vote). See how well the Founding Fathers protected the Constitution of the United States: you wouldn't want that document re-writing every four years as political fashions change.
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Message 80757 - Posted: 5 Sep 2017, 0:33:33 UTC - in response to Message 80722.  

Perhaps I'm not understanding how the new document works, apologies i have only spent 20 minutes trying to find the changes.

Can someone show me the changes are between current and v2?

The wiki shows a number of edits of v2 as far as i can see, not the changes from the existing document.

Returning to accreditation of authors. The members of the Committee (assuming all contributed) should be listed and given credit. If BOINC is to be a meritocracy, then credit for the work needs to be given to people, it is their work provided freely i expect, and they justly deserve credit. If anyone contributes they should be credited.

It is good practice in Open Source projects (and probably all things) to give credit and list authors individually. Every science paper and RFC credits its authors.

If a new document is being created to address an existing problem, then perhaps a "History" explaining the current process and problems - the one sentence in Kevin's post is very important, and describes why a new document is needed.
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Message 80758 - Posted: 5 Sep 2017, 5:19:41 UTC

I would take issue with Anentb and his over fussiness at the release/issue status of a document.
This is the First publicly available version, it hasn't really undergone any public changes yet, thus the authorship is NOT required, having been declared as the entire committee.
This document is entirely new when compared to the old version which was so weak as to be useless, thus treat it as a new document, the FOUNDATION for future changes not an iteration from the existing document and you will not find yourself spending time nit picking while missing the key details. Rather than looking for changes that may, or may not, exist, look at the document and ask "Will this help ensure the integrity and quality of the BOINC project and those projects it supports?".
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robsmith
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Message 80759 - Posted: 5 Sep 2017, 5:26:05 UTC

If you want to see the change history of the governance document, open the link in David's first post to the governance document, then click on the link below the BOINC logo;
wiki: BOINC_Governance_Document_v2


This takes you to the wiki page, then click on the "History" tab and all will be revealed to you. Simples: don't rant, read and think.

(Until I tried the wiki link I had no idea what to expect as I've never seen the underlying structure of a wiki page before)
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Message 80928 - Posted: 8 Sep 2017, 8:22:26 UTC

No one else who has any comments, grammatical points, or disagrees with what we're doing?
Jord
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Juha
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Message 81087 - Posted: 11 Sep 2017, 20:29:57 UTC

That was a quite a bit to read. Looks ok to me. Big thanks to everyone involved in creating the documents.

Some minor issues for v3:

  • 5.3.1 of the governance document:
    Sensitive discussion among PC members uses the PMC private list

    I think that should be PMC members.

  • 1.1 of the development workflow:
    If provided, does the proposed design describe the impacts to existing users of the software (server or client) described?

    I think the "described" shouldn't be there (unless you really meant something like "the software described in these documents, i.e. BOINC").

  • As AgentB noted, the sudden "you"s here and there.

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Message 81215 - Posted: 14 Sep 2017, 9:12:37 UTC - in response to Message 80758.  

I am just an average Boinc Follower trying to make some sense what is going on. The Fact that Robssmith is taking issue with Agentb, bot help desk Experts bothers me. If this is what we can expect in future where Experts disagree with each other in public, I fear it is not a good start. Surely since both of you are Help Experts your point of view should have been discussed in a PM.
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SekeRob
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Message 81216 - Posted: 14 Sep 2017, 9:19:35 UTC - in response to Message 81215.  
Last modified: 14 Sep 2017, 9:26:09 UTC

Think 'Help Desk Expert' is something driven by post counts (Maybe outside of those in The Lounge forum)? It certainly was not something I asked for!
Coelum Non Animum Mutant, Qui Trans Mare Currunt
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 81217 - Posted: 14 Sep 2017, 9:32:22 UTC

'Help desk expert' is a tag applied manually by the board administrators, and is their personal judgement of the value of that individual's posting to the community at large.

Not every expert can be an expert in everything. I know a fair bit about Windows, but I'm a complete novice in Linux, OS X, and Android. But I can't remove my 'expert' tag if I feel the need to post in a thread discussing one of those operating systems.

Most 'experts' have been tagged on the basis of their knowledge of the BOINC software and its interaction with operating systems and the projects that use it. We don't have any 'experts' in documentation except Jord (Ageless). Please excuse us when we try - like any other user here - to help in areas outside our direct expertise.
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Message 81220 - Posted: 14 Sep 2017, 10:00:50 UTC - in response to Message 81215.  

The BOINC community (volunteers, developers, project admin, everyone running or working with BOINC in some capacity) was asked to give their opinion on the documents. They can do that in the open, even if they disagree with each other. That's what the discussion is for.
Jord
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robsmith
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Message 81224 - Posted: 14 Sep 2017, 10:15:50 UTC - in response to Message 81215.  

Answering Pete's comment.
Help desk experts have a very wide variety of backgrounds, mine is in the high integrity, safety related world, where standards make most peoples noses and eyes bleed, I don't know what Agentb's background is. We both used our backgrounds to comment, hence the apparent differences.
Our "Help desk" expertise is assisting people use BOINC, and you rarely find any (public) discussion between us, but you may find additional information, or a slightly different set of words - sometimes because the op hasn't understood the first answer, or that the "baton has been passed" from one expert to another, because one has run out of time, or has reached the limit of their knowledge, or it is clear the that OP isn't "getting on with" the expert.
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Message boards : News : Project management changes proposed

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