As already blogged by Riku, getting replaced by script is really great!

Until now, I’ve had a crontab fetching my supporting-very-big-mails (up to 100MB or so) mailbox every few minutes, and looking into my =incoming-buildd/ maildir on a very regular fashion. With some simple mutt maildir hooks, replying to a Successful log would trigger extracting the changes file from there, setting some options, like PGP inline signing, and the mail would be ready to go back to the buildd. That part was just about being a GPG-signing monkey, so really not a funny part.

Since we no longer have to worry about this boring and time-consuming task, I’ve switched to a crontab firing up 4 times a day, and I try to deal with all incoming mails at once. Coupled with the new filters (e.g. on out-of-date packages on the buildd status page), I started using my time to file FTBFS bugs again, so that maintainers notice their packages fail to build without having to wait for a non-happening testing migration.

After 10 days, the following mutt filter in =debian-bts/ lists 69 bugs:

~s "Bug#.*FTBFS" ~P ~d 01/04/2011-

(Subject contains Bug#.*FTBFS, mails from me, starting from 01/04/2011.)

Figuring out whether that’s due to another package’s bug, an outdated chroot, a temporary glitch, etc. might take some time; that’s why it’s a bit hard to stay on top of things; and when the backlog grows up, motivation to go through this tedious task can be pretty low, especially when one sees repeated mistakes. I hope the amount of (possible) use cases for #620686 will decrease over time; instead, I’d be very happy if maintainers could at least check what’s mentioned in Keeping an eye on its diff between upstream versions should be easy enough. ;)