Project:Infrastructure/Developer away notification

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The Gentoo infrastructure project provides a notification service (AKA devaway) for alerting the community when a developer is unavailable. It is typical for other organizations to handle away notifications via an out-of-office (OoO) notification integrated into an email provider or chat suite. Because Gentoo infrastructure utilizes open source tools (which do not include this functionality), the devaway system was created to fulfills this niche.

The notification is controlled by an ~/.away file that is manually created and removed at the beginning and end of the unavailability period. The content of the file should be a string of text with no line breaks. An automatically generated, UTC/Zulu timestamp will be displayed at the end of the message. The timestamp is based off file modification time (visible using ls -lc and updatable using the touch command).

This developer away notification is hooked in to unavailable developers page on www.g.o (updated every 15 minutes) and the special devaway page on dev.g.o.

If a developer is not responding to email, IRC, or another communication, it is a good idea to remember to check the devaway system to see if the developer has left a note concerning their absence.


Creating the .away file

The following steps are also documented on dev.g.o/devaway.

woodpecker $touch ~/.away # Updates the timestamp on the file to the current time
woodpecker $echo "I'll be away until Aug 14, contact $dev1 or $dev2 in my absence. I will return Aug 30." > ~/.away

The file of course can be modified using standard text editors such as nano or vim.

Removing the file

After the away period has ended, be sure to remove the file:

woodpecker $rm ~/.away


Line breaks

The away message content should not contain line breaks (newline) characters. When a line break character is encountered it will signal the end of the away message and concatenate the rest of the message.

See also