[Ksummit-discuss] "Maintainer summit" invitation discussion

Jens Axboe axboe at kernel.dk
Wed Apr 19 19:45:48 UTC 2017

On 04/19/2017 01:40 PM, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Laurent Pinchart
> <laurent.pinchart at ideasonboard.com> wrote:
>> Agreed, for a maintainer summit to be useful, we need to have multiple sides
>> present. Gathering core maintainers with key representatives of the downstream
>> communities around the table is great, but I think we would be missing one
>> category whose opinion is equally important: kernel developers.
>> When everything goes well developers can be represented by their maintainers.
>> That's the case where the process flows smoothly, so there isn't likely to be
>> much to discuss. However, problems occurring in the maintenance process are
>> likely to result in, if not conflicts, at least different views between
>> maintainers and developers, in which case developers won't be represented at
>> the summit.
>> I'm not sure how to handle that. I certainly don't want to increase the number
>> of attendees to include key representatives of developers (and while I'd be
>> very curious to see how they would be selected, I doubt it would work in
>> practice), but I also believe we need to address this class of maintainership
>> issues.
> I do agree that it would be a great thing to have a "bitch at
> maintainers" session where developers get to vent frustration at how
> their patches are (or are _not_) accepted by maintainers.
> I know we've had issues in the VFS layer, with Al sometimes
> effectively dropping off the intenet for a time, for example.  And I'm
> sure it happens elsewhere too, I'm just aware of the VFS side because
> it's one of the areas where I end up personally being a secondary
> maintainer.
> But the problem with that "bitch at maintainers" thing is that I can't
> for the life of me come up with a sane small set of people to do that.
> So I don't see it happening ;(
> Anyway, I have tried to gather "other groups" that aren't in that
> top-10 maintainers list, but are examples of people "around" the
> maintenance issues:
>  - stable and linux-next:
>    Ben Hutchings (stable)
>    Stephen Rothwell (linux-next)
>  - Infrastructure:
>    Konstantin Ryabitsev (k.org)
>    Fengguang Wu (kernel test robot)
>    Steven Rostedt (ktest)
>    Shuah Khan (tools/testing)
>    Thorsten Leemhuis (regression tracking)
>    Jonathan Corbet (documentation)
>  - Security:
>    Andy Lutomirski (security and core)
>    Kees Cook (security)
>    James Morris (security subsystem)
>  - distro people:
>    Laura Abbott (Fedora)
>    Jiri Kosina (MM? JM?) (Suse)
>    Rom Lemarchand (Android)
>  - Hw vendor people?
>  - Sponsor people?
> but I can't come up with a sane set of "leaf developers" or anything
> like that. We've just got too many. That's obviously a good problem to
> have, but it doesn't fit with the maintainer summit, because unless
> somebody can come up with some kind of prototypical spokesperson for
> that group (and to me, that doesn't seem likely), I don't see how to
> do it.
> (And I still suspect that we do want coverage of some remaining
> maintainership areas, ie filesystem and block layer, because the
> "top-10 maintainers" don't cover that at all. And I haven't heard
> suggestions for the networking side either, still assuming that Daem
> isn't interested since he never has been before..)

I haven't piped up yet, but the block layer was represented in your
initial top-20 (or something like that) list. I can attend if you want
representation on that side.

I'll also mention that upstream kernel users aren't "just" distros.
Facebook is a large consumer of upstream, and we feed everything we do
back as well. I suspect we have at least as many users (or more) than
some of the distros :-)

Jens Axboe

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