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Re: Future of the Tryton suite in Debian

* Raphael Hertzog: " Re: Future of the Tryton suite in Debian" (Mon, 9 Apr 2018
  16:27:04 +0200):

Hello Raphael,

> Hello Mathias,
> On Thu, 05 Apr 2018, Mathias Behrle wrote:
> > I don't plan to continue the maintenance of the Tryton suite in my *free*
> > time.  
> :-(
> > The current evaluation of the situation shows unfortunately a different
> > result:
> > - After years of continued discussions and confrontations I have to realize,
> >   that the Tryton project still doesn't meet my least expectations of a real
> >   community project.  
> Can you elaborate? 

I will elaborate a little bit to duely answer your questions, but I certainly
don't want to shift a discussion here on a Debian list, that should essentialy
take place inside the Tryton project (but in my experience is not
welcome, but rather avoided by all means).

> My own experience is limited and I have the feeling
> that it's largely operated by Cédric Krier acting like a benevolent
> dictator for life.

Indeed the project is operated by B2CK, a two person company. One of them being
the leader in SABDFL style (Cédric Krier), the other being the head of the
Tryton foundation (Nicolas Evrard). While the project is claimed to be a
community project, it is setup in narrow confines to suit the needs of the
de-facto editors B2CK. That said you will search in vain for some sort of
public and transparent project governance. As a direct consequence the project
loses a lot of potential contributors. 
Beginners are often straightaway tired after having taken (or eventually not)
the initial ridiciously high barrier of code contribution just to correct a
typo. Others (me included) just refuse to be forced to register an account
with google to be able to upload reviews. OTOH the contribution of just patches
is commented with the formal hint to 'How to contribute'. 
Despite the constant lack of ressources there was until now never a serious move
to open up the project to e.g. spread the load. Spreading the load means
spreading responsibility and trust in co-workers. But even so said core
committers are waiting for the LGTM of the leader, other contributors have
obviously to wait, until the leader finds time to do personally the commit.

Those are just some few examples of my perception of bottlenecks in the
project, that after all seem to be volitional to keep the project under the
tight control of one person resp. one company.

> But still it's much better than any other similar project in this scope
> that I know of.

You know Debian, don't you? ;)

I know a number of projects, that don't hesitate to work and publish a
transparent project governance. Projects that have comprehensible, documented
and transparent guidelines and procedures to be followed to e.g. judge
about the meritocracy of a contributor. Finally we are both in this very 
project Debian that has extraordinary qualities in this respect.

To be concise: we are talking here about the project setup, not about code
quality. While often missing thourough planing of features with the input of
experts from different domains, I absolutely concur with the usually excellent
code quality of the project.

> I have been able to contribute my
> changes and I even got commit rights on a module (account_fr).

Yes, I know. That was certainly due to the fact that you provided at that time
excellent patches with exemplary commit messages (finally you showed
to ..hmmm.. how really exhaustive commit messages can look like), but also due
to the fact that you are a very well known and reputable person in Debian. It's
great that it is that way. There could be many more.

> >   Furthermore the work of maintaining Tryton in Debian is
> >   quite low valued in Tryton.  
> But it is highly valued here in Debian and by the many tryton users out
> there.

I am pleased to here that. At least for the Debian part. I can not follow for
the *many* Tryton users out there. If that should be the case they miss clearly
to make their voice heard on the project.
> >   Constitutional questions and differing opinions
> >   are mostly considered annoying. There is a clear tendance to prefer
> > exclusive instead of inclusive behavior (which e.g. recently led due to
> > poor and repudiative communication to the removal of the OpenSUSE packages
> > from the website).  
> Again, can you elaborate and be more specific?

Just some pointers to form your own opinion:

The issue

History of the issue

Issue on OpenSUSE

And a discussion thread on tryton-dev

> > - The benefit of Tryton in Debian main is quite limited for our users. To
> > get a sustainable solution it is mostly better to use the backports at
> >   debian.tryton.org. Thus the packages in main are indeed a very good base
> > to start the backports from, but they are not really the best alternative
> > for everyday use.  
> I am mainly using your backports, yes.

Glad to hear and thanks for your interest.



    Mathias Behrle
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