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Savannah status report

Item posted by Loic Dachary <loic> on Thu 12 Apr 2001 11:03:43 PM UTC.

This status report will give you an idea of the work
done on Savannah, the projects and the problems we face.
All in all Savannah already helps a lot and promises to help
more in the future.

The biggest news is that it was decided by RMS and
GNU volunteers that Savannah will open its gates to Free
Software packages that do not yet belong to the GNU
project. A specific domain name will be used for this
purpose : My hope is that it will
happen before the end of the month. There is still some work
to do to complete the Savannah setup. Before it's done, we
won't advertise Savannah to the public.

On the mailman front things are not progressing
much. But there is hope: Guillaume will be able to spend a
full week (5 days) on it next week. I hope he will be able
to finish it by next week. For those who don't know,
Guillaume had school examinations last week and is on
holidays this week.

Jaime is taking care for viewcvs + commit_prep &
log_accum and will be able to solve all the issues related
to it shortly (Am I putting too much pressure on you Jaime
?-). Anyway, it's quite important that Jaime is commited to
make this work.

Jeff is still keeping an eye on CVS related issues
but has no more time to devote to it really. He took care of from which Savannah originally spawned
during many months. Savannah would certainly not be there if
he did not take much of his time answering my questions and
providing help when it all started.

GNATS is a blocking point. Nobody has time to
develop a decent web interface for GNATS and this will
postpone the first release of Savannah for an unknown amount
of time. All the other problems can be dealt with in a
reasonable amount of time. I fear we have to take a
difficult decision here.

I'm very busy finding a replacement machine for
Savannah (dual 800 PIII, 90Gb disk, 1Gb RAM). I sent the
money, the proposal is on the way, Brad took care of the
hosting and the installation is scheduled May 15. I will
spend a week in Boston to do the installation. This will
not be a migration, just a hardware replacement (you may
look at the Machine: tasks in the Savannah project for more

I added a few utilities in the Savannah admin page
that most of you probably never saw. It helps a lot
filtering submissions, although I'm pretty sad to see that
16 of them are still pending. Accepting Free Software
projects in general will solve this, I guess. Other than
this Savannah is working with very few problems and it's a
real delight to see all this system administration work done
by scripts. To be honest a French guy is having endless
troubles to create his account. This is so weird that we
decided to meet this Saturday to sort it out. And have
lunch near the canal. And a beer maybe.

The migration of the web site on CVS is
apparently well accepted by web-masters. Although CVS helps
in some ways it also has drawbacks such as the handling of
symbolic links. This one was fixed but some people complain
about publishing documents generated by scripts, such as the
output of TeX-info documentations. I find it very convenient
to be able to work on the result of a checkout on my local
machine and then simply commit instead of running emacs on
gnudist with a shaky connection. Jerome Dominguez will
provide tools based on CVS to help the translation of the
pages. He used this custom tools even before was
migrated to CVS but now he is able to share them.

Olivier Lejade proposed to find someone to design a
custom look for Savannah instead of the current one. For
those who don't know, Olivier is the CEO of the company who
did the current Savannah logo. He did not promise anything
but we may have a nice surprise someday ;-)

In conclusion I'd say that I love to see Savannah
working and expanding. The methodology used to develop
Savannah is very different from the methodology used to
develop SourceForge. Savannah is run by volunteers and will
expand if and when volunteers use it and contribute to
it. SourceForge mostly depends on the employees of VA Linux.
A key element to be able to cooperatively work on the
development of Savannah is that a skilled volunteer does not
need two weeks to get involved. When Jaime arrived he was
able to read internal documentation, check the task lists
for ongoing efforts status, get the necessary permissions to
do his work within two days.

I commited myself to help and coordinate the
volunteers the best I could. Tell all your friends to send
an email when they have some spare energy to help
Savannah. They will be warmly welcome ;-)

Loic Dachary
24 av Secretan
75019 Paris Tel: 33 1 42 45 09 16
GPG Public Key:


Maybe RT is another alternative to GNATS. (posted by Bernhard Reiter, Mon 23 Apr 2001 12:03:13 PM UTC)

Reading the new I thought I just throw in that Request Tracker(RT)
might be a viable alternative to GNATS. Looking for a nice bug and issue
tracking system we (Intevation) also evalutated the different options.
bugzilla (default for sourceforge) is nice, but cannot entirely controlled by email. Gnats on the other hand is missing a usable web interface.
We decided to give RT a chance, which overall is quite okay.

(I posting here to test the forum...)



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