[icecast] directory servers

Scott Prive Scott.Prive at storigen.com
Fri Nov 22 17:24:21 UTC 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Smith [mailto:msmith at xiph.org]
> Sent: Friday, November 22, 2002 4:02 AM
> To: icecast at xiph.org
> Subject: Re: [icecast] Please confirm your message
> >Are you serious???
> >
> >The development state of "Icecast 1" vs. Icecast2 has 
> *nothing* to do with the
> >web site. Not from a user perspective anyways.
> >
> >What's infuriating is you're not even ASKING for help.. 
> you're justifying
> >NEGLECT. The *.icecast.org web family is ABANDONED. 
> That's a complete and utter lie. We've been going to quite a lot of
> effort to solicit volunteers to develop and maintain various things,
> including the website. 

The websites don't say this. What impression is delivered to someone who is NOT on the list? What you are taking the time to explain to me sounds great. I wish I has seen that information in Manuel Lora's post, which could be paraphrased as the website's condition having something to do with reflecting the transition to 2.0.

(BTW, lies are intentional and driven by negative intentions. This appears to be a clear misunderstanding and miscommunication :-)

> Volunteers HAVE come forward, and we ARE working on major updates
> to the website. Yes, the website as it stands is horribly out of
> date, to the point where minor changes are not sufficient. As such,
> it's being replaced entirely.

An overhaul sounds *great*. I agree... nothing can band-aid the current site into being relevant. However, UNTIL this next-generation website is put into place, every visitor (who is NOT on the mailing list) is going to get a false impression on the state of things. Do you agree?

> >
> >LISTEN to your users; you won't hear a PEEP from the people 
> who simply hit
> >"Back" on their webbrowser will you? 
> >
> >I'd have more sympathy for your position if you said you 
> were in dire need of
> >volunteers to impliment some improvements you have in mind, 
> but that's not
> >what you're saying.
> Bullshit. 

See above.  

> >
> >Here are some constructive suggestions:
> >1) Fix the directory server, or TAKE IT DOWN. My guess is 
> there has been no
> >decision to take it down, and for whatevr reason, no one 
> wants to FIX it. If
> >the directory server protocol has changed in Icecast2, then 
> consider running
> >an Ices2 directory server. If the Icecast2 directory code is 
> not yet ready..
> >then it's probably premature to declare Icecast1 dead isn't it?
> >
> None of the current developers are interested in running the directory
> server, and nobody else has volunteered to help out. Indeed, 
> nobody has
> said anything at all about the directory server other than to 
> note that
> it isn't running. 

SO I would present this situation to EVERYONE on the team as:
"We don't have the tools/experience/documentation to support this issue ourselves. Until this changes we have no choice but to shut this non-working feature down.". Further down, I see the passwd was a problem, so when this started you could not put up an explanatory webpage why this is down. But you have the password now, right?
I have no clue why the directory server is dead. Given what I know, would you like me to whip up a webpage stating it's out of order, and volunteers to fix this are welcome, and perhaps this page will be up again when 2.0 is released?

<p>> We're ALL VOLUNTEERS, so this means that if 
> something
> isn't running, and nobody is willing to help, it gets 
> abandoned. 

Trust me; I understand...  It sucks when you're trying to get something done, and you don't have the information you need. I've been doing Software QA for the last 11 years... when things are not documented, you spend a LOT of time trying to compensate (and that time wasted is *disproportionate* to what it would take using a document-as-you-go strategy). 

My suggestion here is to replace the page with an Out Of Order sign, and when you expect it will be back up (v2.0 release maybe? I don't know). Maybe link in some relevent thread from this list (I've only been on for 4 months or so... I don't know why or how it broke, or how to fix it).

> a fact of life in volunteer projects - if you want it, either join in
> and do it yourself, ask POLITELY for someone else to volunteer their
> time, or pay one of the developers to do it.

Gnome.org had a great idea for their website: they had a "Help Wanted" page with available tasks, and you could sort tasks by "technical complexity" and time-effort. One could design a list of tasks, and then people could just submit something. 

The key point of this suggestion is volunteers do not need to completely stay on top of all the happenings. You assume some management overhead. Hopefully, people will express interest in the things which appeal to them. I don't have a clue what you guys need, and if I mentally stayed on top of everything I would probably consume whatever time I had..

> >2) Are there NO Icecast2 issues worthy of a FAQ?
> There are lots. That's why we're writing one.

Great. If you have a short list now, upload what you have and don't worry about appearances. It could even contain just ONE item to start: "Don't download Icecast1". 

I just talked to a guy on the BLU mailing list who's tried out Icecast... and he's just downloaded Ices1. He's knows `now' that I told him.. get the v2 product. This message does not seem to get enough visibility. 

If you're working on a nice *automated* or interactive FAQ that's self-maintaining... something fancy like that... cool. But for now, even hardcoded HTML will save people from doing the wrong thing.

> >
> >3) Are there NO Icecast2 Development milestones & success which are
> >newsworthy?
> There are. A series of problems mean we haven't yet put them up on
> the website. The latest release is currently at 
> http://www.xiph.org/~msmith/

See next response...
> >
> >4) How about links to other applications that have 
> dependencies on Icecast?
> >You know.. "community" stuff.
> >
> >5) If nothing happens for a very long time, just say so. 
> Every few months a
> >web note of "Hello... we're still here..." will be 
> informative, since it
> >indicates someone cares (and shows you still know tha password)
> We didn't know the password, which is one of the reasons the site
> was dead for months.

WOW. That blows. I wasn't being serious when I stated that.. sorry to hear that's actually true. Given the positive activity here, and with the Ogg group, one had to wonder what the heck was going on...

Is it a bad idea to put on the homepage at the top, under "latest news":

"Friday, November 22 2002 12:18 EST -
Sorry there have been no updates in a while. We had some severe website problems which prevented us from updating the website during that time. We ARE still here, and a new website *is* in the works. This means we will not be making major changes to the curent website, which is obsolete. We anticipate the new website will be around somewhere around the second week of <month here>. Thank you for your patience, and as always.. the latest Icecast2 news can be found on the mailing list <link here>"

If you fill in the blanks, I can even mail this as a diff.

> >
> >If I sound unfairly harsh, it's because of justifying the 
> state of the website
> >being due to the Icecast1 to Icecast2 transition. 
> You do. You've spent half a page bitching about various things, and
> saying that we should get other people to help out if we can't do
> everything, but you haven't volunteered to do anything youself, you've
> just demanded various things.

Fair enough. Any and all bitching expressed here is a side-effect of excitement and appreciation for the product. I know I have some time tomorrow... tell me what would you like worked on?  :-)

Since I don't know what you want (hint... we need a Help Wanted page :-) I'll just state I am an all-around UNIX guy with very good software testing skills, and some knowledge of scripting. I have a few hours a week available for your disposal. I am not current on web standards.


> Michael
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