Some random things about Advogato certification

Wednesday, July 11th, 2001 at 12:00 am | 2,047 views | trackback url
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Bug Tracking

ishamael, the bug tracking package you seek is called Mantis. I use it quite extensively now on my server, and it works very well. I had to change some of the UI a bit and move some things around, but generally, it’s rock-solid. You can see it in action on one of my bug sites. Another you can look at is called RoundUp, and is really good. I tested 11 separate packages before narrowing down on these two. I chose Mantis in the end because it was PHP, and I didn’t want to have to burden my box with Python code, runtime, in the browser. You may also want to go here and see the other dozens of alternatives.

I can’t post much, in the middle of too much hardware hackery, but I’ve been reading all the diaries today and yesterday regarding the whole certification and trust metric issue and have to make some points.


deven, you realize of course that by removing your certification of others when you were certified as Apprentice, that you have lowered their ranking, just as I removed your Apprentice status altogether by removing my certification of you. This is how the trust metric works, and it works well. Your point regarding the “Good ‘ol Boys Network” is completely unjustified, since you clearly don’t understand why Advogato exists. Nobody here is refusing people access to Advogato. Anybody can join. Anybody can post their diary entry. Anybody can contribute.

Your comment of:

“..Since most of Raph’s writings here seem to focus on effectiveness in keeping out the bad people, it’s not clear whether he ever paid close attention to the flip side of the coin, letting in the good people…”

If this were nothing other than a web-based forum without a hint of any certification metrics, created solely to discuss open source projects, like Blogger, would you have the same complaints? I would guess not.

To quote George Carlin:

…a radio has at least two knobs; one changes the channel, and the other… turns it off!

The value of certs here is not linear. If 10 people certify you as Apprentice, and they themselves are not even holding an Apprentice certification, you do not get an Apprentice certification. However, if raph or lilo or alan or myself certifies you as Apprentice, at the next sync, you will now be holding an Apprentice cert, even if nobody else certifies you. There is a very logical reason for that (and I wish it was applied to Slashdot and other projects as well).

You are measured here by your peers for your contributions to the free software community (and sometimes, non-free contributions, as some people here have talked about before). You are not “given” certifications. You earn them.

Again though, my desire to post my diary here has absolutely no bearing on the color that my name appears in. I didn’t start coming here because I wanted to gain some sort of status. I wanted to have a place to share my contributions, let people know what I’m doing (and if you read my diaries, they can be quite personal, ugly, and graphic at times, I have nothing to hide).

There’s a lot of cool things I do, as well as other people. I like to see what’s going on in the community I’ve been a part of for over a decade, and I like to watch it grow.

In your July 31, 2000 diary entry, you decided to certify yourself as Master, and I’m still trying to see what “important” free software project you are the author of, or what groups you mentor. Can you help me find it?

Your comments regarding the certification of God, Satan and Jesus are important, because they point out the lack of clarity in the people who are certifying these accounts. Look at rms for a perfect example. People don’t take the time to really understand the accounts before they go and waste certifications on them (hint: That’s not really Richard Stallman’s account).

As raph points out, there is a bit of weirdness going on in the certifications right now, and you have seen the trend also, but it fits exactly into the model which works here. The more people who join, the more uncertified users will exist, who are then going to be certifying already-certified users (sometimes wrongly, in the case of rms and others as above). This must be how you determined the system to be a “Good ‘ol Boys Network”, since the new users are the ones creating the dilution as you call it.

Here’s a tip: Ignore the certification altogether. Simply post your diary as you would have for any other site, and talk about what you’re doing in the community, free software space, open source space, or whatever. Relax. Have fun. If people respect you, and feel you’re doing “the right kinds of things” (subjective), then you may find yourself with a certification… or maybe not, but who cares. This is not gaining you PayPal bucks, or being used towards grading your GPA.

I respect the fact that you are doing development, and that you have taken the time to report some Mozilla bugs, but at the same time, you blather on about certifications. The two don’t jive. Free Software advocates and contributors give of themselves selflessly, often sacrificing deep into their personal lives to do it, and many times, unrecognized and uncompensated. Keep up the work, push hard, advance the status of free software where you can, and ignore what people think of you. There’s a famous quote I live by:

“There’s no defense for the truth”

If this isn’t working for you, there’s always Badvogato and Blogger.


I am having nothing but trouble with my hardware here, and right when I need it the most, it fails me in exactly the ways I require of it to be working.

I have a single bootable RedHat cdrom I found in the back of a book here (Out of all of my linux cdroms, the only one I found to be bootable was in this RedHat Bible book, pft! No, bootable floppies were not possible, since I had no floppy drive, and even if I could install one in this machine, there was no way to get the images onto the disks, ugly all the way to the bank on this one).

After having to gut a production machine to get a the build onto the drive, it neglected to install perl (apparently Perl is not part of a ‘Development Workstation’ according to their installer, gar!). I decided to mount the cdrom in another drive, and map it over nfs.

But wait, my 3c905 Vortex NIC decides to start spouting packet errors and ghosted frames. I rummaged through my storage and spare parts and found one lone 3c509 ISA card, and put it into the box. Try again, no video. Wiggle some cards, move some slots, now I get video, but the cdrom in the other system fails on one lone file… guess which file I can’t read from the cdrom: perl_5.005.*.rpm. ARG! I can’t get a break!

dyork, you’re not off of the XML/XSLT hook with me yet… I have quite a handful of questions to toss your way. I’ll try to keep them en anglais for you.

Enough for me for today. I’m just not going anywhere near hardware right now. Maybe a good movie will get me distracted enough to concentrate on this when I get back tonight.

Last Modified: Wednesday, July 11th, 2001 @ 00:00

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