[Architecture] [Ux] Concerns about remaining PCP/PMT work

Boyan Sheytanov bsheytanov at asteasolutions.com
Fri Sep 12 09:24:30 EDT 2014

Hi Colin,

Thank you for the prompt reply. Responses inline.

On Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 4:03 PM, Colin Clark <colinbdclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Boyan,
> Thanks for your comments. Responses inline.
> On Sep 12, 2014, at 11:21 AM, Boyan Sheytanov <
> bsheytanov at asteasolutions.com> wrote:
> > 1. There are pull requests pending review for GPII-539 Correct
> LifecycleManager's update method to apply live updates from PCP via
> Websockets:
> >       • universal/pull/251 - finalized 28 days ago
> >       • prefsEditors/pull/66 - confirmed as ready for merge by Justin on
> Jul 9
> > I know there is a lot of work on your plate (26 open pull requests for
> universal and 7 for prefsEditors, among other repos and new tasks) but at
> the same time feel that pull request review should take priority over
> development tasks. Quite a few of the PCP work depends on the pull requests
> mentioned above. While I realize work can continue off the corresponding
> branches while the pulls get merged, this adds some development overhead,
> and more importantly - makes it hard to judge where we are with the
> implementation and how that might affect the Year 3/review plan. Can we put
> the pulls referenced above high on your radar?
> I also agree that pull requests should be prioritized very highly on
> everyone's to do list. Currently, however, we have realized that our unit
> and acceptance testing infrastructure has some subtle bugs that causes our
> tests results to be unreliable. It's pretty problematic--sometimes tests
> appear to pass when they have actually failed. These bugs were largely
> introduced into the system last January when a few of us were rushing to
> get a fully integrated system ready in time for the last EC review. Given
> this, we have some concerns about being able to reliably code review and
> validate pull requests without rock solid tests.
> At the moment, 100% of Antranig's attention is focused on addressing the
> test failure issues and ensuring that our testing infrastructure is
> reliable and accurate. In your opinion, do you think we should be reviewing
> and merging pull requests without being able to accurately verify that they
> don't break or regress the system? Can you suggest any approaches that we
> could take which would make your lives easier while also ensuring that our
> code quality improves, rather than risking that it might get worse?
> Thoughts and alternatives are very much appreciated.

I knew there were problems with failing tests, but didn't realize their
severity. I agree with you that no pull requests should be merged until the
testing infrastructure is brought back to a reliable state. Right now I
cannot think of a way to ease development while this gets fixed -- but an
estimate of when that will happen would be much appreciated.

> 2. It seems to me that the PCP-MM communication, which is a key feature
> of the system, got lost among other tasks. Could we dig it up and see where
> we are on that? Alex is working on the PCP part, but is there someone
> responsible on the MM part?
> I know it probably seems like those issues have been lost in the shuffle.
> Luckily, they're still very high on our radar. One of the areas where
> Antranig has discovered instability in our system is in our current
> integration with Socket.io. While addressing the bugs that cause our
> WebSocket-based tests to fail, he's also been doing extensive research into
> the nature of the communication mechanism between the PCP and the Flow
> Manager. It's going to take time to sort through the issues and implement
> something that works, but it's an active area of focus. If you'd like more
> details about this work, or would like to contribute to it, please feel
> free to join next week's architecture meeting.

Thanks for the update. Alex or I will try to join the meeting.

> 3. What is the demonstration scenario for PCP for the Year 3 EC review?
> There are a number of questions related to that in the last PCP/PMT meeting
> minutes, but no answers. Can someone answer them?
> As best as I know, this is still being determined. Several of us are
> currently in Cambridge at a face to face meeting to discuss what will be
> feasible from a technical perspective, and the scenario is still being
> discussed and strategized at the technical and project coordination level.
> We all need to know what use cases we'll be developing for, so I hope we'll
> have more details soon.

Great, hope you have a productive (and fun) meeting in Cambridge!


Boyan Sheytanov
Lead Systems Engineer
Astea Solutions AD

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