General Infrastructure Maintainability: API and EBN

Philippe Cloutier chealer at
Sat Nov 9 18:21:45 GMT 2019

Hi Ben,

On 2019-11-08 19:33, Ben Cooksley wrote:
> Hi all,
> Over the past number of years one of the tasks the Sysadmin team has
> worked on has been improving the overall maintainability of our
> systems, with a significant number of specialised cronjobs, exceptions
> and hidden linkages being eliminated.
> That is with one great exception: and
> Both of these are suffering from an extreme amount of digital bitrot
> and special casing and in general are now in a condition where I
> cannot say for certain whether it would be possible to replicate the
> setup on a new system without us experiencing some degree of breakage
> (some of which we may not discover until weeks/months afterwards).
> In addition, the current setup relies on an old-fashioned overnight
> reprocessing of all repositories, which is inefficient and resource
> expensive. A more modern approach would have the various projects api
> documentation generated on a delayed cycle from relevant branches as
> part of something like a CI job (but not part of the actual CI
> workflow itself).
> For this one, i'm not certain on the best path forward at this stage,
> however the current state of affairs cannot continue. We have tried
> over the past few years to find people to work on a replacement for
> the tooling involved, but alas we've yet to have success here.
> Thoughts anyone?

Thank you for bringing up this topic. I last used a few 
months ago (a few tens of hits) and I appreciated it.

I'm pretty sure we should keep offering a solution to the problem it 
addresses, but usage statistics would be good. Thankfully, I believe the 
service provides is not something its users will develop 
much dependency towards. If a catastrophe happened, I don't see a big 
issue in stopping to provide the service for the time it takes to 
restore it (beyond the issue of simply not providing the service during 
that time).

Regarding resource usage, has it been quantified somewhat?

Perhaps I can suggest simply adding some banner to the site or at least 
its homepage indicating that help is needed, with a link to a page 
discussing the attempts you mention.

> Regards,
> Ben

Philippe Cloutier

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