General Infrastructure Maintainability: API and EBN

Ben Cooksley bcooksley at
Sat Nov 9 18:49:51 GMT 2019

On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 7:22 AM Philippe Cloutier <chealer at> wrote:
> Hi Ben,

Hi Philippe,

> 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?

We are aware that it is very much in use, but no attempt has been made
to gather statistics (in part because embedding the necessary tags to do website statistics collection is not straight
forward with the existing setup).

This thread is to discuss how we might fix the problem with
maintaining the generation process.

> 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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