[Python-Dev] Possible language summit topic: buildbots

Antoine Pitrou solipsis at pitrou.net
Fri Oct 30 17:21:06 CET 2009


Sorry for the little redundancy, I would like to underline Jean-Paul's
suggestion here:

Le Sun, 25 Oct 2009 14:05:12 +0000, exarkun a écrit :
> I think that money can help in two ways in this case.
> First, there are now a multitude of cloud hosting providers which will 
> operate a slave machine for you.  BuildBot has even begun to support 
> this deployment use-case by allowing you to start up and shut down vms 
> on demand to save on costs.  Amazon's EC2 service is supported out of 
> the box in the latest release.

I'm not a PSF member, but it seems to me that the PSF could ask Amazon 
(or any other virtual machine business anyway) to donate a small number
of permanent EC2 instances in order to run buildslaves on. After all, big
companies often like sponsoring open-source projects, especially when the
project is well-known and the donation is cheap for them.

This would have several advantages:
- the machines are administered by the provider: we don't have to worry 
about failed hardware, connectivity loss etc.
- any Python core developer could get ssh access to the VMs to run tests
directly, since they would be dedicated buildbot instances
- they are not tied to a particular owner when it comes to fixing system
problems, which means we eliminate a single point of failure: if a 
volunteer gets demotivated/bored/missing in action, someone can replace 
him/her easily
- there are a number of various OS images available (of course, we still 
need competent people to install the required software -- buildbot, etc.)

Since I've never used any such service ("cloud"-based VMs), I'm not sure 
what the downsides would be. But it seems to be that it would be at least 
worth trying. Right now we have around 15 buildbots but two thirds of 
them are down, the others sometimes fail or disconnect in erratic ways 
and it's difficult for "regular" core developers to be aware of what's 
precisely going on.

Of course this could also be a broken idea, for whatever reason I'm not 
aware of.



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