[Moin-user] Why oh why!

Greg Noel GregNoel at tigris.org
Thu Dec 11 18:48:37 EST 2008

On Dec 11, 2008, at 7:35 AM, JT Moree wrote:
> If you find that really great support (moinmoin or other wikis) for  
> free let me know.  I'd love to have someone else maintain my wikis  
> for me.  ;)
I'm not talking about free support (although I admit it would be  
nice), I'm talking about something as simple as separating the items  
in the list of changes into two categories: the many hundreds that  
don't require any action by anybody and the handful that may require  
some action by somebody.  And particularly, in this case, the one  
action that was required by _everybody_.  (If it was so mandatory, why  
didn't the first startup of the new engine simply run the conversion?   
Or if there were manual decisions required, why didn't the engine fail  
to start until the schema was updated?)

Other open source projects seem to be able to do that, so I don't  
think it's asking too much.  The quality may be uneven in how well the  
actions are explained, but at least there's a _short_, well- 
highlighted section that gets you started.

Don't get me wrong.  I like MoinMoin.  It's flexible and extensible,  
and that has helped us.  But I'm really disappointed in how poorly  
this was handled.

On the one hand, I see some statements to the effect that this is done  
better now, but on the other hand, I don't get the impression that the  
developers have learned the entire lesson from this experience.  It's  
really quite simple: not everyone avidly follows everything that the  
MoinMoin team does; some of us have other things we'd prefer to do  
with our time.  I'd imagine that in a lot of cases, the only thing  
users will encounter is the upgrade instructions.  If those  
instructions don't guide them through every step needed to upgrade  
successfully, the developers aren't doing their job.  And telling  
users to read through a list of a thousand changes is actively  
avoiding doing their job.

Hope this helps,
-- Greg Noel, retired UNIX guru

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