Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

The place for discussions and decisions about the forum

Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby TerryE » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:11 pm

This is really a codicil to the post of the same name in the archived / locked Site Governance forum. The context is my work on the infrastructure and to understand the background you'd need to look at the exchanges on the Apache infrastructure DLs and the #asfinfra IRC channel (except that most of you won't be able to because these ASF infrastructure services DLs are private and by invitation only -- basically the same access rule that we used for running our services until ASF forced us to change this.)

When I came back from my break in Greece, I realised that no effective progress had been made on the migration of the wiki and forums, as no doubt many of you also gathered. I decided that I couldn't let this happen and basically "reengaged" with the ASF infrastructure team to make the migrations happen. It took quite some effort to achieve this and to sort out the major issues. There are still loose issues to be resolved such as reinstating the admin mailboxes on the forums and sorting out how the proxy cache interacts with the sidebar and guest enabled functionality such as collection publishing on the wiki, as well a future migration of the wiki to MW 1.17.0 ...

However, I've had to take a long look at my involvement in this project. I am left with feelings of guilt because I am letting you guys down, and there are tears in my eyes as I write this -- but I've decided that for my health's sake and my quality of life, I've just got to disengage. I've unsubscribed from ooo-dev and trashed the 1,000s of emails -- none of which really interest me. I will do the same with the infrastructure DLs tomorrow. I need to take break from the forums as well as this just sucks me back in.

I need to emphasise that this isn't a simple case of hostility and flaming as was with my previous blow up with Rob. The infrastructure guys are basically a good team; they work as a small tightly knit community and do a good job. I like them and wish them well. However, we just can't seem to work together in a way that I enjoy.

As with many small stable IT support groups, none of the ASF infrastructure rules, processes, procedures and context are documented anywhere; they are just "commonly understood" by the core members. The way to join this community is a bit like a frat-society or a mediaeval guild: you sit quietly in corner, seen but not heard; learn from the masters how everything works; and build up enough karma before you are allowed to touch anything. At the end of this apprenticeship everyone basically understands how to build every server (or knows who to ask) so the system works; apart from key config files checked into snv, little needs to be written down about how to build and to manage systems, apart from brief instructions which are really designed as checklists to ensure that a familiar admin doesn't forget something critical in rebuilding it if needed.

Given six months, no pressures and enough enthusiasm, I could have probably survived this apprenticeship. However, I was initially given a couple of weeks to migrate a couple of systems to new platform, new S/W versions, new infrastructure, and ASF only has a couple of systems of comparable complexity, so was a ridiculous expectation. This was coupled with the fact that I had no "karma" so the team wished to micro-monitor my work, documentation, etc., with me doing all the work on the to-be-live servers.

I am used to working in a corporate world where everything is formalised typically in an ITIL-style framework: processes and procedures are fully documented; complete documentation is required on all systems; major infrastructure tasks such as these go through normal project management cycles: definition and agreement of requirements; development and testing in a 'dev' enironment; promotion to production though configuration and release management controls. However this philosophy is foreign to the ASF team and its current work practices, and so if I work in my comfort zone or explain its advantages then this is seen as my rejecting or rubbishing the ASF way of working.

So we've had a lot of "norming" issues where we've got to know each other, and invariably a few "storming" ones where our cultures clash. I still can't seem to communicate some of the realistic amounts of work involved to move these systems to 100% ASF-compliant model and to current S/W versions: If I want to work at a ~25% level on OOo support then a realistic elapsed time for a man-week task is a month and not a few days. Why do non-urgent actions need to be done tomorrow? I just feel like I am blundering around in a field of broken glass and if I step on a bit then another bottle (a public rebuke on a DL or IRC) comes winging from the sideline at my head.

I realise that I've made mistakes along the way and could have handled this better, but whatever the rights and wrongs, I have to take a personal view. I am pushing 60 and just too old to go through a punishing frat-initiation. This isn't really an environment that I enjoy or one where I want to spend a lot a time. I am pretty unhappy, and this quickly reflects itself into my health because of my ME/CFS. So too much work, too much pain and too little in return to do this "pro bono", because it certainly isn't doing me any good.

At least the system is migrated and we've bought some time. Hopefully the project and community have got a few months grace to find a replacement for me. Sorry guys.
Ubuntu 11.04-x64 + LibreOffice 3 and MS free except the boss's Notebook which runs XP + OOo 3.3.
TerryE
Volunteer
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:23 pm

Hi Terry,

We'll all miss you. You've been great all that time. I don't really have the words for such situation (non native English speaker) ...
But health first, don't be sorry.

Thanks for what you've done here for the forum, the users and also for the Volunteers who have found a great place here.
Take care.
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 28588
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby floris v » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:41 pm

Terry, I fully understand, from something I suddenly remembered from many years ago, something quite silly in comparison with this really, and yet just the same thing. I was asked by three people to complete a bridge quartet and said yes to do them a favour - I didn't know a thing about bridge. So I asked what the rules were and stuff, and they didn't want to explain beforehand, they'd do it as we were going along. What happened? They were flaming me all the time whenever I did something wrong. Or maybe they didn't flame me, but it felt damn like it. I wanted to do those people a favour and they flamed me - something was wrong there. Yours is a taxing job, and you do it as a volunteer. It's very bad style to flame volunteers or to toss them around as they did with you. Not taking your health situation seriously is more bad style. Don't be sorry - you worked hard enough for this project and you aren't letting us down.
Have a good time.
AOO 4.1.6 op Linux Mint
If your problem has been solved or your question has been answered, please edit the first post in this thread and add [Solved] to the title bar.
Nederlandstalig forum
User avatar
floris v
Moderator
 
Posts: 4168
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:21 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby TheGurkha » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:48 pm

Thanks for everything Terry, and I hope that whatever ventures you turn your hand to next prove to be interesting, absorbing and pleasant for you.
Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn, LibreOffice Version: 4.3.3.2
Gurkha Welfare Trust
User avatar
TheGurkha
Volunteer
 
Posts: 6482
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:13 pm
Location: North Wales, UK.

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby Greengiant224 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:28 am

Terry:
Good luck and all the best, your health comes first, second and third.

Greengiant224

Win 7, AOO 4.1.6, LibreOffice 6.1.* (Java 1.8.0_181) utilising HSQL 1.8.10 & 2.4.*, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite
+ Blood, Sweat and Tears (Application, Determination and Perseverance)
User avatar
Greengiant224
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:50 pm
Location: All Over The World

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby RGB » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:41 am

Thanks for everything, Terry. As Hagar already said, we'll miss you.
There are two types of people: those who believe that there are two types of people and those who do not.

openSUSE Leap with KDE Plasma / LibO
User avatar
RGB
 
Posts: 1454
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:34 am

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby RoryOF » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:57 am

You've done a great job, Terry. The Forum is up and running and we haven't seen a squeak of objection from anyone, which is a miracle! At a certain stage in all projects, one has to walk away and move on. Good luck! and Enjoy!

@floris v: I have never committed Bridge; my experience of observing it being played suggests that the post mortems are even worse than the interchange on some of the A**** mailing lists :-)
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 18.04.3 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
User avatar
RoryOF
Moderator
 
Posts: 29745
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:30 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby kingfisher » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:10 am

Terry, I would like to add my thanks and wish you good health.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.6 on PCLinuxOS
User avatar
kingfisher
Volunteer
 
Posts: 2120
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:53 am

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby FJCC » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:56 am

Terry - your support of the forum will certainly be missed but you shouldn't feel bad at all about stepping away. We are all here for the fun of it and if the fun decreases too much, then it is time to go. I wish you the best in whatever you do.
Windows 10 and Linux Mint, since 2017
If your question is answered, please go to your first post, select the Edit button, and add [Solved] to the beginning of the title.
FJCC
Moderator
 
Posts: 7353
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:08 pm
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby mriosv » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:21 am

I can only wish the best for you Terry. Thanks.
LibreOffice 3.5.4 AOo-3.4 on Win 7 Ultimate
mriosv
Volunteer
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:12 am
Location: Galiza (España)

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby keme » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:27 pm

No guilt! You didn't let anyone down.

If you continue to engage at the expense of your own health and wellbeing, then you're letting someone down: yourself and your family. That is not permissible! It would make us all feel bad, and you wouldn't want that on your conscience, now would you?

;)
Apache OO 3.4.1/4.1.2/4.1.3, on Ms Windows 7/10 and Mac OS-X 10.8.5 and 10.11.
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 on Mepis Antix MX 14
User avatar
keme
Volunteer
 
Posts: 3266
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:27 am
Location: Egersund, Norway

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby acknak » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:34 pm

Absolutely nothing to feel guilty about! Your health and well-being come first--no question--and you've done so much already. We're still running and that's a huge, huge win.

Best wishes always and I do hope you'll stay in touch.
AOO4/LO5 • Linux • Fedora 23
User avatar
acknak
Moderator
 
Posts: 22756
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:25 am
Location: USA:NJ:E3

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby TerryE » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Thanks for all of the comment and greetings here and by PM. It's a shame that I couldn't make it work with the Apache team, but the fact is that trying to work with a team of guys who work by some inflexible but unwritten rule book, and where you have to work out everything to do with working in their environment by trial and error (and getting public flack when you make those errors) doubled my workload and increased my personal distress. Truthfully looking back, it would have been far easier for me if we'd moved the forums to a VM hosted by standard hosting provider like GoDaddy, or possibly the TDF. Of course the downside of these options would have been our loss of the user.services.openoffice.org domain.

But also I have been a single point of failure for too long. Maybe with Apache, the forums will get a new maintainer who is a lot younger and part of the Apache team. Maybe, they'll just end up going the way of oooforums.org.

Anyway :bravo: to you all.
Ubuntu 11.04-x64 + LibreOffice 3 and MS free except the boss's Notebook which runs XP + OOo 3.3.
TerryE
Volunteer
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby floris v » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:21 pm

Maybe you have been focusing too much on the administrative tasks here all those years, so that by now, if you even think about the forum, you only think about the administrative work and not about the fun of hanging out here and the satisfaction of helping people solve their issues with OOo.
AOO 4.1.6 op Linux Mint
If your problem has been solved or your question has been answered, please edit the first post in this thread and add [Solved] to the title bar.
Nederlandstalig forum
User avatar
floris v
Moderator
 
Posts: 4168
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:21 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby orcmid » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:52 am

Ah, I should have read this thread first.

@TerryE I too congratulate you on the service you provided here and the invaluable contribution you made in getting the hosting of the wiki and the forum migrated over with very little disruption and far less breakage than I feared. It is wonderful to have accomplished something that also did not turn into a Y2K down-side.

I'll send you my personal congratulations and best wishes by email, but I wanted to go on record that, whatever the discord and the discomfort of fitting through someone else's peculiar cookie cutter, you delivered and delivered great. Thank you for the commitment that reflects. It is rare to find such consistency of purpose and I salute you.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: Sorry all, but I've decided to "throw in the towel"

Postby vasa1 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:17 pm

Just a small thank you from me. I don't understand much about your role but from references about you by others here it's clear that you've been a tremendous resource to the forum.

So greetings all the way from Bombay and best wishes for the future.

vasa1
LibreOffice 5.2.1.2 on Lubuntu 16.04 (Openbox)
vasa1
Volunteer
 
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:20 pm
Location: Bombay


Return to Forum Governance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest