[volunteers] [svlug] Linux to Politics ratio

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Sat Dec 1 22:24:34 PST 2007

On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 20:55:09 -0800, Lisa wrote:

> (First off, Daniel... since it's so hard to read emotion (or LACK
> of emotion) properly in emails, know that I have no anger toward
> you as I wrote this.)


> On Sat, Dec 01, 2007 at 08:26:18PM -0800, Daniel Gimpelevich wrote:
>> No, because while the new website would not be a souped-up
>> reinstallation of the old website setup, the mailing list
>> stuff would be pretty much that at first and is in more
>> immediate need of migration than the website. Once the Linode
>> host takes over in exactly the capacity in which the current
>> host is serving, the current host may be repurposed for a time
>> as the new home of the website, and the multiple-basket
>> scenario you're preferring could still happen. Would this
>> still be consistent with the agreement you negotiated?
> No... they were told it would be the main website within a MONTH
> or two of that meeting --- the extra space/memory was granted
> for *precisely* that reason.


> So, as far as saving my word, forget it, that damage is done. It
> sounds like Rick has fairly successfully convinced them that it
> was not my fault, though, so I'm not trying to improve that.

If you're referring to your own impression of whether your word was
honored, then yes, the ship has sailed, and that's a crying shame,
literally. However, if you're referring to Linode's impression, I have no
doubt that they could look at it in a "better late than never" light.

> I guess it's just the feeling of betrayal that *I* had that was
> the problem --- but I've been letting that go... except when I
> am reminded of it and feel a need to speak up --- especially
> when it's claimed, in one form or another, that it's my own
> fault.

We should all be ashamed that it has come to this. We all [under]value
what you have done very much. But what was the number of of people who
knew that the Linode host had already been upgraded, and more importantly
why was that the number? There is enough blame to go around, but you
personally deserve none of it.

>>> What I recall is that the answer always was, in full
>>> (paraphrased): Wait for the wiki... it should be REAL soon now.
>> AIUI, its flakiness is almost exclusively a function of the
>> way it's being used and the way it was set up. I was one of
>> the people who chanted the wiki mantra, but always in the
>> context of hearing "there's nothing the Linode host can do
>> beyond DNS." This is yet another consequence of not airing out
>> the LUG's "dirty laundry" in public, a necessary evil.
>> Obviously, not ALL the time already spent is salvageable, but
>> we have some unique opportunities now for maximizing how much
>> of it really can be salvaged. The details can be hashed out
>> right here on this list.
> (1) Not what I heard, I heard that the drive(s) are flakey and
> that, yes, there might be some problems with configuration but
> with good equipment it should work as it is --- albeit, perhaps,
> hard to maintain/update.

I just checked, and couldn't help but notice that smartd is not running
right now, yet it was running a few days ago. I don't have the priv's to
see what it reported when it was running, but it looks like a copy was
being sent to the vitalstatistix.merlins.org host. That's the only thing I
can say right now that speaks to any flakiness of the (one) drive. The
rest of what you say there is what I said, too.

> (2) And, yes, as the VM was it couldn't do much more than DNS. 
> Which is why (sorry if I sound like a broken record) we agreed
> that if I could get the extra memory in exchange for the promise
> to do so, it would become our primary webserver as soon as we
> could reasonably move things over.

I meant that I continued to hear that DNS was all it could do *after* the
Black Angus meeting had taken place, and it's likely that others did, too.

>>> I think that, while that may be an admirable goal, getting our
>>> website onto a more reliable machine as opposed to a flakey
>>> machine, by someone who had already done 90% of the work, was
>>> not worth NOT doing just because it isn't "everything we want."
>> Of course moving the website alone is not worth not doing, but
>> not taking care to make things not need REdoing is how the
>> current server ended up in such a sorry state presently.
> Nothing I did to move it over (as I have already done 90% of the
> work more than 6 months ago) couldn't be EASILY replaced when we
> "do it right" and, as I said, it's already done (over 90%). 
> Nothing that is DONE would interfere with anything that WOULD be
> done --- if it ever gets done.

Glad to hear that! In such a case, you're right, all-or-nothing is not
justified at all.

>>> In that case, as Rick has mentioned many times, they don't even
>>> NEED to be on the same machine.  And, as Mark has mentioned
>>> several times (a while ago), it'd be nice if the main site were
>>> on a very reliable machine and then we could do wiki-type stuff
>>> on an experimental machine -- such as the VM host that you seem
>>> to love the thought of so much.  I always liked that idea, but
>>> it was always rejected.
>> I don't know exactly who rejected that, but remember: Ideas
>> never die.
> No, but often the people behind them lose their motivation
> and/or go away --- especially when they have no personal stake
> in it.

In such cases, the ideas find new people to be behind them.

>>> The mailing list does not have to move.  I am not an expert on
>>> mailing lists.  If that's a *requirement* of the move (which, as
>>> I said, doesn't make sense to me --- I'd rather NOT have "all
>>> our eggs in one basket") then I guess we stay on the machine
>>> that most experts in our group would not be surprised to see DIE
>>> totally any day now.  *shrug*
>> As I said above, movement of the mailing list being a
>> requirement of the move doesn't need to require moving the
>> website egg into the same basket at the same time permanently.
>> If that's too big a mouthful to parse, see above[, Rick].
> Understood and agreed except for two reasons:
> (1) Even with the upgraded memory and space, I have been told
> that it is insufficent to decently handle the mailing list and
> spamassassin at the level that we would need it

OK, so the website can go to the Linode host as concurred with above, and
a third, more powerful, machine is needed for the remaining portions of
the current server's functions. Warren, if you're reading, feel free to
chime in.

> (2) Someone ELSE would need to move it as I am not a mailman
> expert.  If someone else is willing to do it (and if I am wrong
> about point #1), I'd say "go for it."

As you said, there's no reason that needs to get in the way of the website.

>> I'd like to take this opportunity to strongly urge you to
>> seriously consider possibly joining Ed and Warren as a VP
>> candidate yourself.
> As involved as I may like to be with SVLUG, it's difficult for
> me to make committments and be sure of honoring them (which is,
> as I said, very important to me --- when I make them, I honor
> them) because I am a single mom and can't have any reasonable
> level of assurance that I might not have to miss a meeting of
> one sort or another.
> On the other hand, doing stuff from home (via ssh and such) is
> much more "committable" as I can do that when my daughter is
> asleep in the next room. :-)
> Lisa

Since I assume the above consideration was indeed serious, I thank you for
the validation.

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