Reducing the load on Sysadmin

Philippe Cloutier chealer at
Mon Nov 11 04:43:01 GMT 2019

This mail does not specifically reply to the following email from "KDE". 
By the way Tom, your name comes out as the kind of vague "KDE", period.

I consider that reviewing whether a service should keep being offered is 
a healthy exercise. At the same time, I agree with Albert in the sense 
that the sysadmin manpower is not a constant, so phrasing the exercise 
as one of "load reduction" can sound like a wasted recruitment 
opportunity. Verifying that resources are sufficient seems like a less 
confrontational, more positive and constructive angle. I think the 
process should look like:

 1. Listing the future costs (for example, we will need to reinstall the
    server since Slackware Linux is no longer supported) and the
    recurrent costs (for example, 1 hour of computation time each day),
    next to the benefits provided.
 2. Identify which contributors are willing to commit to support the
    service, and to what level.
 3. Listing the possible changes which can be done such shutting down
    the service, adding a warning indicating that the service is
    scheduled for shutdown in 1 year unless volunteers step up, hiring
    employees, adding advertisements, giving more place to credits for
    administrators, optimizing the work, etc.
 4. If someone favors a change, validate its acceptability with the

Building a wiki page which is widely editable seems like an efficient 
and more perennial way to achieve steps 1 to 3 (and perhaps a 
preliminary part of #4). Wiki pages would have the added benefit of 
leaving some documentation and crediting the volunteers in charge.

On 09/11/2019 14:51, KDE wrote:
> Hi,
> It seems there is always seem to be someone within KDE that wants 
> something new and shiny, I name gitlab, Discourse, a new identity 
> system, etc.
> On the flip side, there is always someone that does not want to part 
> with the old stuff.
> Hence there is always more stuff to do, while we must also maintain 
> all the old stuff.
> Sometime you need a step back to create room to go two forward. We are 
> just asking to think with us if some services are really needed.
> Best,
> Tom Albers
> KDE Sysadmin
> On 9 Nov 2019, 20:43 +0100, Albert Astals Cid <aacid at>, wrote:
>> El dissabte, 9 de novembre de 2019, a les 0:49:49 CET, Ben Cooksley 
>> va escriure:
>>> Hi all,
>>> One of the things that was prepared as a result of the Sysadmin BoF at
>>> Akademy was a list of systems and services which we look after and
>>> provide to the community.
>>> Whilst individually all of the services seem fairly reasonable and
>>> maintainable, the cumulative number of them has created a situation
>>> where they limit our ability to reasonably maintain our services as a
>>> collective whole.
>>> I've therefore conducted an analysis of all the various services we
>>> operate, with the objective of shutting down those services and sites
>>> that either provide marginal benefit to the community, are historical
>>> in nature or which could be provided better by others.
>>> Please note that while individually each item may seem small (and
>>> therefore "not an issue" to continue running), it is the collective
>>> number of them that create the problem.
>>> I'll shortly be sending out a series of emails regarding the services
>>> in question which have been identified for shutdown.
>> Honestly i think you took the wrong approach here, removing things we 
>> seem to be using because there's not enough sysadmins instead of 
>> trying to increase the sysadmins.
>> Cheers,
>> Albert
>> P.S: Maybe there has been an attempt to increase the sysadmins, if so 
>> I apologize
>>> Cheers,
>>> Ben
Philippe Cloutier

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