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authorNulo <git@nulo.in>2022-01-20 12:48:12 -0300
committerNulo <git@nulo.in>2022-01-20 12:48:12 -0300
commitf9729aab935c3ca7e8a2f7e6c1bfe131e6f1e4bc (patch)
treeb484cb607bacc51033bb37cbc33a96bd307e6aed
parent8fc1aa8314e695151369b6e3ae89586a7fcb5ed3 (diff)
Experiencing harmful behavior in Alpine
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+I'm a new contributor to aports/Alpine. Recently, [I took maintainership of `telegram-desktop` (and the related `tg_owt`)](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/merge_requests/28864) after [upgrading it for a few versions](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/merge_requests/27025) and generally improving the situation of the package by using some packaged dependencies instead of bundled ones.
+
+The MR for the change of maintainership also contained many changes to the APKBUILD with the help of psykose and mps. Along with it, I added some comments that explained where dependencies were taken from, which were bundled with the package, which were patched out, etc. This was in the hope of making it easier to check for new dependencies in newer releases. I also added a `TODO` comment [as suggested by CODINGSTYLE.md](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/blob/4cded765f8b08139a36a01cdf327776571ced825/CODINGSTYLE.md#todo-comments) stating the need to eventually upgrade the package to Qt6.
+
+Because of this, I had a conflict with mps.
+
+I'm writing this post to have it documented publicly in the hopes that it doesn't happen again and if it does, that it can be pointed to this to show it's not a first occurrence. These types of abuse are usually lost in IRC logs and mailing list archives.
+
+Before merging the MR, mps asked me in #alpine-devel to remove comments. I disagreed, saying that the comments were there for a good reason (this is pretty long):
+
+<details>
+<summary>IRC Log</summary>
+
+```
+2021-12-30 15:43:34 <mps> Nulo: MR is ok but please remove so much not needed comments from APKBUILD, those which are needed add to git commit msg
+2021-12-30 15:44:12 <Nulo> mps, which comments do you find are not needed?
+2021-12-30 15:44:41 <mps> mentioning qt6
+2021-12-30 15:45:00 <Nulo> I wanted to leave info about why each dependency is bundled or not and how to easily check for new dependencies according to the wiki page (because upstream doesn't like mentioning new dependencies in changelogs)
+2021-12-30 15:45:01 <psykose> qt6 comment is fine
+2021-12-30 15:45:43 <Nulo> It's just one line :') and it's a TODO, I tried to follow CODINGSTYLE.md
+2021-12-30 15:45:44 <mps> psykose: why it can't be fine in commit msg
+2021-12-30 15:45:57 <psykose> because when someone opens the apkbuild they don't see the commit messages
+2021-12-30 15:46:16 <mps> so git log is complicated
+2021-12-30 15:46:32 <psykose> idk about you but i don't have the time to read the 30 prior commits of every package i touch
+2021-12-30 15:46:45 <psykose> a todo: in the apkbuild is extremely clear on the other hand
+2021-12-30 15:46:47 <mps> then you should
+2021-12-30 15:47:36 <mps> if someone doesn't have time then s/he shouldn't work on pkg
+2021-12-30 15:47:46 <psykose> it is literally the same thing but takes more time to find
+2021-12-30 15:47:53 <psykose> and is more likely to be missed
+2021-12-30 15:47:56 <Nulo> To be clear, I added comments because it's the sort of info I wished I had when I started "maintaining" the package. "Why is Qt6 not enabled? Should it be enabled?" (actually, that was my change, but I couldn't understand why Void had done it)
+2021-12-30 15:48:02 <psykose> for absolutely no benefit aside from... saving 1 line in a 100 line file
+2021-12-30 15:48:03 <psykose> get real
+2021-12-30 15:48:09 <ikke> I typically put information both in comments and in the commit message
+2021-12-30 15:48:46 <mps> every character saved is worth thing
+2021-12-30 15:48:48 <Hello71> commit messages should be used for information that was relevant at the time, but is likely to expire soon. comments should be used for information which is likely to remain relevant
+2021-12-30 15:49:11 <Hello71> "upgrade to 3.5.0" is not relevant for future readers to know
+2021-12-30 15:49:24 <mps> Hello71: meh
+2021-12-30 15:49:35 <mps> I disagree
+2021-12-30 15:50:29 <mps> git log is invented to keep history, look at kernel git log, and I'm sure you did a lot of times
+2021-12-30 15:50:40 <ikke> How often do you read all commits affecting an APKBUILD to figure out all the contexT?
+2021-12-30 15:50:49 <Hello71> so in your opinion, code should never have any comments?
+2021-12-30 15:51:00 <mps> ikke: often
+2021-12-30 15:51:26 <psykose> Nulo: you may also now make it minsizerel
+2021-12-30 15:51:41 <mps> and if I don't understand something than I use 'git log -p' always
+2021-12-30 15:52:07 <ikke> But what if the comment was right there, explaining it?
+2021-12-30 15:52:07 <mps> Hello71: I'm not against all comments
+2021-12-30 15:52:20 <Hello71> for some projects, there is arguably reason to keep information in commits rather than source tree to save space for users who only need latest version. for aports i think this doesn't really apply
+2021-12-30 15:52:42 <ikke> To me they are not mutually exclusive
+2021-12-30 15:53:14 <mps> ok, I give up, do whatever you want
+2021-12-30 15:53:31 <Nulo> psykose, done
+2021-12-30 15:54:31 <mps> and enjoy mess
+2021-12-30 15:55:22 <Nulo> psykose, https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/Nulo/aports/-/jobs/579660#L55 lint complains about MinSizeRel, normal?
+2021-12-30 15:55:34 <psykose> yeah, it will go away after atools gets a bump/container refresh
+2021-12-30 15:55:36 <psykose> but it is changed
+2021-12-30 15:55:56 <mps> Hello71: btw, I'm sure you meet long numbers of code where comment and code don't 'agree'
+2021-12-30 15:58:18 <mps> Nulo: I removed hold label from telegram-desktop
+2021-12-30 15:58:36 <Nulo> Thanks
+2021-12-30 16:25:37 <Nulo> Who is "in charge" of merging this now that it has no maintainer? https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/merge_requests/28864
+2021-12-30 16:26:10 <psykose> people with merge access
+2021-12-30 16:26:18 <psykose> maintainers can't merge normally either
+2021-12-30 16:26:45 <Nulo> Well, of approving it I guess
+2021-12-30 16:26:51 <psykose> doesn't have to be
+2021-12-30 16:27:07 <psykose> and you are the maintainer
+2021-12-30 16:28:57 <PJ[m]> +1 for comments instead of commit messages, i hate deep diving git log to find context which could be done as simple comment
+2021-12-30 16:51:31 <dalias> i prefer commit messages over comments because.. (1) temporal locality, to the *change* not the code. they're describing the reason for changing what is done or how it's done, and are missing context when you don't see them alongside the change
+2021-12-30 16:52:38 <dalias> (2) bitrot. often when making changes, a comment that no longer applies (and that might even be misleading) is overlooked and left in place. this can't happen if it's instead attached to the immutable change it was associated with
+2021-12-30 16:54:07 <dalias> (3) clutter from exaggerated impression of relevance/importance when making the change
+2021-12-30 16:54:25 <dalias> and reading git log isn't a "deep dive", it's a trivial one-line command
+2021-12-30 16:54:30 <psykose> i don't disagree with any of this, but the context was a TODO comment
+2021-12-30 16:54:42 <psykose> of which there are 4 mentions in the musl history, and 22 in the tree
+2021-12-30 16:59:50 <dalias> :)
+2021-12-30 17:04:15 <Ariadne> i only use code comments for situations where i expect somebody (multiple somebodies) are going to ask about something weird
+2021-12-30 17:13:00 <skarnet> code comments are for voodoo parts that aren't self-explaining
+2021-12-30 17:13:11 <skarnet> (self-explanatory? English is hard.)
+2021-12-30 17:56:21 <mps> nice to see that some smart people agree with me :)
+2021-12-30 17:57:19 <mps> Nulo: I will merge it this time but please be more receptive what smart people say next time ;)
+2021-12-30 17:58:06 <Nulo> I very much believe that Qt6 it's a voodoo part that isn't self-explanatory; but I wasn't explaining anything, I made a TODO
+2021-12-30 17:58:14 <mps> Nulo: whatever we say you did a good work
+2021-12-30 17:58:16 <psykose> if you think everyone that disagrees with you is a moron you are free to close the merge requests as well
+2021-12-30 17:58:19 <Nulo> The other comments explain why some dependencies are bundled, etc
+2021-12-30 17:58:51 <Nulo> mps, thanks <3 also huge thanks to psykose and someone else which I forgot
+2021-12-30 17:59:40 <mps> psykose: yes, I have rights to do this but I don't think _everyone_ is moron, we just disagrees I think
+2021-12-30 18:00:51 <mps> psykose: I prefer consistent state of alpine and I will fight for it to much higher degree
+```
+
+</details>
+
+To me, I thought it was fine to leave the comments as many users agreed, and in the end mps was who merged the MR. However, hours later, mps deleted the comments he didn't like in an [unrelated commit](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/commit/fa3e9621791ce3a36ee8b2dd463f884c7ff62be4) (fixing riscv64 builds, for which I am thankful for.) psykose pointed it out in the room:
+
+<details id="tsc-log">
+<summary>IRC Log</summary>
+
+```
+2021-12-30 22:54:59 <psykose> bypassing the maintainer to delete some todo comments is also quite poor form
+snip
+2021-12-30 23:08:45 <mps> psykose: ask TSC to remove me from alpine, you will make me a favor because this will save me some time and nerves
+snip
+2021-12-31 00:58:45 <Nulo> mps, can you *please* not bypass me just to remove some comments which you said you "gave up" on
+2021-12-31 00:59:12 <Nulo> _why_ https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/commit/fa3e9621791ce3a36ee8b2dd463f884c7ff62be4
+2021-12-31 01:08:17 <Nulo> Thank you for fixing riscv64 BTW
+snip
+2021-12-31 08:54:40 <mps> Nulo: there are more but please read backlog
+snip
+2021-12-31 12:52:05 <Nulo> mps, I believe I've read the backlog, what did I miss?
+2021-12-31 12:56:55 <Nulo> I don't want to remove you TSC, especially because I have no power to do that. I want to solve this situation without stepping on each other
+2021-12-31 12:57:52 <Nulo> When you proposed to remove the comments, I (and other folks) generally disagreed. Instead of accepting that, you merged my changes and then removed them in an unrelated commit, I guess in hope that I wouldn't notice
+2021-12-31 13:17:51 <mps> Nulo: do you really-really think comment '# disable jemalloc' belong to APKBUILD
+2021-12-31 13:19:47 <Nulo> It is relevant because the list of dependencies (the wiki page link which you deleted) had jemalloc as a dependency, but we are patching it out instead. It provides an explanation as of to why that dependency wasn't in the list.
+2021-12-31 13:23:36 <mps> git commit msg servers this
+2021-12-31 13:36:47 <mps> Nulo: you should follow alpine best practice and not introduce 'featurism' from other distros
+2021-12-31 13:37:13 <Nulo> mps, ?
+2021-12-31 13:37:15 <mps> and not only you but also other newcomers to alpine
+2021-12-31 13:38:42 <Nulo> What is featurism?
+2021-12-31 13:38:50 <valerius> when you try to become Debian
+2021-12-31 13:39:49 <Nulo> AFAIK I'm following best practices according to CODINGSTYLE.md and the only other distro I have ever contributed to was Void
+2021-12-31 13:39:54 <mps> or windows/macos even ;)
+2021-12-31 13:40:25 <orbea> comments, the slipperly slope to windows....
+2021-12-31 13:41:38 <valerius> some people buy the Escalade and want all the fancy features for that one trip they might or might not take one day, meanwhile they overpay for gas the entire time they own it
+2021-12-31 13:41:43 <valerius> the same people choose a heavy distro
+2021-12-31 13:42:36 <valerius> meanwhile, practical people choose things that do what needs to be done and nothing else
+2021-12-31 13:43:02 <Nulo> We are talking about... code comments, no?
+2021-12-31 13:43:14 <Nulo> To be specific, about 5 lines of comments
+2021-12-31 13:43:26 <mps> Nulo: yes
+2021-12-31 13:44:06 <ikke> It doesn't matter if the application wipes your harddrive, as long as there are no superfluous comments
+2021-12-31 13:44:09 <mps> only important notes goes to APKBUILD comment
+2021-12-31 13:45:53 <mps> and be assured that I will remove all superfluous things I see
+2021-12-31 13:46:48 <skarnet> abuild is written in shell, so comments impede run-time performance!
+2021-12-31 13:47:27 <mps> we made a BIG mistake with one of infra decision when accepted 'something' on which we agreed post mortem that was bad
+2021-12-31 13:47:56 <skarnet> that's not what post mortem means, but I suppose you wrote it on purpose :P
+2021-12-31 13:48:15 <mps> skarnet: good conclusion
+2021-12-31 13:52:00 <Nulo> The wiki seems to link to no-longer-existent forums in the sidebar
+2021-12-31 13:52:38 <mps> wiki should be removed as was forum long ago
+2021-12-31 13:59:59 <Nulo> Whatever, I'm leaving this room for now. I don't want to deal with this bullshit
+# I leave the room
+2021-12-31 14:01:21 <mps> please don't use bad words here
+snip
+2021-12-31 14:11:03 <ikke> mps: Was it worth it to scare Nulo away?
+snip
+2021-12-31 14:11:48 <mps> ikke: I don't have answer, and my intention is not to 'scare' anyone
+snip
+2021-12-31 14:13:02 <mps> ikke: I just want alpine to be 'small, simple, secure'
+2021-12-31 14:13:52 <mps> ikke: if these are not our 'goals' anymore I can stop
+2021-12-31 14:14:41 <orbea> mps: to be frank you achvieved none of those with this
+2021-12-31 14:14:48 <orbea> *achieved even
+2021-12-31 14:15:18 <mps> orbea: yes, I know, you are right, but I still trying :)
+2021-12-31 14:16:02 <mps> 'hope dies last'
+```
+
+</details>
+
+Then, mps [upgraded the package](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/commit/d8f83f325691d77f135f725a799f2afd5d7fd2da) even though I already had an [MR open](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/merge_requests/29040) with the change. This is presumably because the MR also reintroduced the comments. It was also marked as a draft because I wanted to ask if it made sense to reintroduce the comments or not.
+
+I was told that by Ariadne later on (see below) that I should assume that the upgrade was made in good faith, but I have no reason to believe that as mps hadn't touched the package in over a year (as far as I can tell), I had already sent an MR and he had told me a few days ago to specifically open an issue to upgrade a package to notify the maintainer instead of just sending an MR:
+
+<details>
+<summary>IRC Log</summary>
+
+```
+2021-12-25 14:50:23 <Nulo> Any reason 3.15 doesn't have foot 1.10.3 (as opposed to 1.10.1)? Should I send a patch?
+2021-12-25 14:51:33 <ikke> It's up to the maintainer to make sure packages in stable releases are updated as well
+2021-12-25 14:52:58 <Nulo> amk, come thru
+# amk is the current maintainer of foot
+2021-12-25 14:59:16 <Nulo> https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/merge_requests/28849 Is this fine? I cherrypicked commits from master
+2021-12-25 15:00:49 <mps> do we backport packages to stable without reason (bug or secfix)
+2021-12-25 15:01:10 <mps> ikke: ^
+2021-12-25 15:03:27 <ikke> Mostly up to the maintainer. We don't refuse updates just because no one reported a bug (barring our general stable release policies)
+2021-12-25 15:04:13 <mps> hmm, I disagree with 'policy'
+2021-12-25 15:04:19 <Nulo> There is a reason, I'm stumbling upon a bug which has been fixed according to upstream (crashes)
+2021-12-25 15:04:22 <mps> with this*
+2021-12-25 15:04:57 <mps> Nulo: then you should create issue first and assign it to maintainer
+2021-12-25 15:05:23 <ikke> mps: burocracy
+2021-12-25 15:05:35 <mps> ikke: or chaos ;p
+2021-12-25 15:06:00 <Nulo> Yeah I'm a bit confused as of to why I would need to do that. Maintainer already made those changes on edge, I'm just reapplying in 3.15
+2021-12-25 15:07:00 <psykose> almost done going through the whole list of py3.10 stuff
+2021-12-25 15:07:12 <mps> Nulo: I told above, backport to stable only if bug or security fixed, and in exceptional cases something really is needed
+2021-12-25 15:07:34 <ikke> How about fixing bugs before users run into them?
+2021-12-25 15:07:35 <psykose> those foot releases fixed some bugs
+2021-12-25 15:08:01 <Nulo> I just said, it fixed some issues that I'm stumbling upon. Check the CHANGELOG: https://codeberg.org/dnkl/foot/src/branch/master/CHANGELOG.md#1-10-3
+2021-12-25 15:08:15 <mps> that is not problem, maintainer should be first informed
+2021-12-25 15:10:04 <Nulo> They are automatically informed by algitbot; https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/merge_requests/28849 has been assigned to the maintainer
+2021-12-25 15:10:21 <mps> ikke: 'fixing bugs before users run into them?' are you dreaming :)
+2021-12-25 15:13:14 <ikke> No, but upstream apparently already got bugreports and made new releases fixing them
+2021-12-25 15:13:31 <ikke> Why should we by policy wait for users to report these bugs to us before we fix them?
+2021-12-25 15:14:20 <omni> I don't get it either
+2021-12-25 15:14:26 <mps> imo maintainer should be informed
+2021-12-25 15:14:33 <ikke> Sure
+2021-12-25 15:14:45 <ikke> but that does not necessarily have to happen by a separate issue
+2021-12-25 15:15:34 <ikke> like Nulo said, maintainers already get notified when an MR is opened for their package
+2021-12-25 15:15:44 <mps> well, I create MR and maintainer is auto assigned but s/he is offline for some time and you blindly merge it
+2021-12-25 15:16:03 <omni> not blindly, I don't think
+2021-12-25 15:16:16 <omni> a lot of packages are updated without involvment of the maintainer and if it wouldn't be like that many packages would be very outdated
+2021-12-25 15:16:18 <mps> i see this as potential problem
+```
+
+</details>
+
+I find this in the scope of the [Code of Conduct](https://alpinelinux.org/community/code-of-conduct.html), as it is pretty unwelcoming of my work to be constantly bypassed as a package maintainer while being told by the same person that maintainers should be aware of modifications made to their packages.
+
+Because of this, I asked in #alpine-devel who was willing to act as a "neutral third-party" as that's what was stated in the CoC for conflict resolutions. mps was kind enough to give his opinion:
+
+<details>
+<summary>IRC Log</summary>
+
+```
+2022-01-01 20:23:20 <Nulo> I've sadly ended up in a conflict about Alpine. The CoC suggests to "work through the conflict using a neutral third party in a transparent manner", how would that work? Thanks
+2022-01-01 20:23:55 <mps> use common sense
+snip
+2022-01-01 20:25:47 <mps> when I joined alpine I'm told by 'elders' to use common sense as best thing
+```
+
+</details>
+
+Soon after that, Ariadne privately messaged me asking me about the situation. She first told me that I should report it to the Technical Steering Comittee, but I was told a few moments later that apparently mps "does not want to waste the TSC's time with [my] dispute." This is ironic as he [previously](#tsc-log) explicitly told psykose to report it to the TSC.
+
+She then asked me if restoring the deleted comments would be an acceptable outcome. I said no, because the problem wasn't that mps removed some comments. The problem was that mps bypassed me as a maintainer twice, making changes which he was explicitly told not to. ==This is the kind of unwelcoming behavior that turns people away from free software communities==. I was then told that there was no interest in kicking out mps from the project, and that she had spoken with mps for him to stop this behavior.
+
+I for one don't believe that someone can change their behavior which they repeated many times can change it by being told not to one hour after they last did it. In fact, I don't think mps understood the problem at all:
+
+```
+2022-01-05 08:42:03 <mps> I don't dare to do NMU merge anymore, risking to be called by TSC :)
+```
+
+The problem wasn't the Non Maintainer Update, the problem was the intent behind it. And that wasn't the thing that caused me to report it, it was multiple occurrences of similar situations. Even then, [mps did it again](https://gitlab.alpinelinux.org/alpine/aports/-/commit/94bd1055a16156933ab982ad419b1f112b9347e3) updating the package to a pre-release version (telegram-desktop versioning scheme is weird) and acted offended in IRC afterwards:
+
+<details>
+<summary>IRC Log</summary>
+
+```
+2022-01-17 09:55:20 <mps> which if these lines 7 or 8 are maintainer comment here https://git.alpinelinux.org/aports/tree/community/telegram-desktop/APKBUILD#n7
+2022-01-17 09:55:27 <mps> s/if/of/
+2022-01-17 09:55:28 <alpine-meetbot> mps meant to say: which of these lines 7 or 8 are maintainer comment here https://git.alpinelinux.org/aports/tree/community/telegram-desktop/APKBUILD#n7
+2022-01-17 09:56:01 <mps> I think I will be attacked again if I fix this ;)
+2022-01-17 10:05:14 <Misthios> 2 version?
+2022-01-17 10:07:10 <mps> or maintainer comment
+2022-01-17 10:07:52 <mps> jk, ofc
+2022-01-17 10:14:13 <psykose> that just looks like an oversight with two pkgvers
+2022-01-17 10:14:37 <psykose> not sure why you are acting like a child again, but there is no issue with deleting an obviously duplicated pkgver
+2022-01-17 10:14:48 <ikke> Probably badly resolved conflict
+2022-01-17 10:15:11 <psykose> yeah
+2022-01-17 10:18:21 <mps> psykose: please be careful with your words
+2022-01-17 10:20:08 <psykose> i am
+2022-01-17 10:20:51 <mps> don't talk with me like this!
+```
+
+</details>
+
+Yes, that was an an oversight of my part but also of mps (he merged my changes.) I had already noticed that and had fixed it locally, waiting for a new release of telegram-desktop to commit it.
+
+My objective is not necessarily to kick mps out. I also understand that the TSC doesn't want this from happening; mps currently maintains 82 packages, and I'm sure he does much more in the project. My objective is, instead, to make sure Alpine is a community that welcomes contributions. To this end, I can only think that this means detecting problematic behavior as this one, and possibly kicking people out (or, at least, preventing it from happening.)
+
+Just reading the logs and seeing what he did should make it clear that he's being an asshole. I hope it's clear that I'm acting in good faith. It's wild to me how the only way to make him stop bypassing me was to report this as a CoC misconduct, even though this happened publicly in front of OPs in #alpine-devel. Even though they answered and disagreed, they didn't stop mps from doing what he did, and speaking like he did.
+
+Frankly, I don't want to end this on a bad note. I like Alpine as a project, and apart from mps, everyone has been nothing but nice. However, I don't feel that the response I got goes anywhere as the TSC aren't interested in making any change. That makes me uncomfortable.
+
+- [December 2021 #alpine-devel logs](https://irclogs.alpinelinux.org/%23alpine-devel-2021-12.log)
+- [January 2022 #alpine-devel logs](https://irclogs.alpinelinux.org/%23alpine-devel-2022-01.log)
+