If you're an arch tester reading this, I love you. Your job is mostly thankless and how important it is seems relatively un-reflected in our regular conversations, and this needs to be rectified.
Often, I see a stable request get done, and I know what got stabilized was a monumental amount of work, and I just want to thank you for your effort, but there isn't a good place for this. Other times, I may want to ask questions in an informal setting, and get an authoritative answer on what exactly you want of us as an arch tester. Presently, if I want to ask questions about arch testing, the only place to do this is #gentoo-dev, or seek the mailing list like I am now. The latter of these is a bit time consuming, and that probably discourages participation. And the former is not entirely useful as that's likely to get side-tracked by all the people who don't do arch testing opining on what to do, mostly directed by their experience with working with arch testers. This is not "bad" as such, but its not really an authority on arch testing. I believe that as arch testers, you have a right to run a channel as you see fit, and have an authority on how it is you do what you do. As such, I believe Arch Testers should have themselves an IRC channel, where Arch testers are OP, and membership of arch testers is voluntary ( but encouraged ). I myself would start such a channel, but I feel it is not my place to found such a channel, as I'm not an arch tester, it would be wrong of me to hold OP of such a channel: That's a right only an Arch tester should have. And a channel opped by and filled with Non-Arch testers on the subject of arch-testing sounds too much like certain political problems we have lately. I also believe somewhat in the idea that /people who are most concerned about an issue/ should also be the same people who /do the work to resolve that issue/, and in that light, it is somewhat disingenuous to constantly fret over the state of arch testing while doing little to actually fix the problem myself. I do have it on my TODO list to attempt rectifying this, and in a semi-long-term view of things I might find myself doing arch testing, but I don't think we should wait until then to have an arch-testing channel ;) It would also probably be useful to have such a channel for arch testers and interested potential-arch-testers to congregate and discuss things, so that the potentials can get a feel for the work in an informal capacity before stepping up to take the load, and the channel would thus also facilitate the transfer of knowledge to widen the tester base. ( I understand people may be discussing the potential formation of an AT mailing list/alias/project or something along those lines, but I find such a strategy far too formal to be valuable, and much prefer the flexibility of self-organising groups and the relaxed informality of IRC, which typically don't need any approval to to create or infra assistance to start ) In closing, this is a petition to somebody who is a recognised arch tester to form a channel for this purpose, and encourage other testers to join, and people like myself can then hop on and maybe be more productive as a result. <3
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