[Ksummit-discuss] "Maintainer summit" invitation discussion

James Bottomley James.Bottomley at HansenPartnership.com
Wed Apr 19 19:55:03 UTC 2017

On Wed, 2017-04-19 at 22:50 +0300, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
> Hi Linus,
> On Wednesday 19 Apr 2017 12:40:47 Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Laurent Pinchart 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 ;(
> I currently don't have any good idea to make that happen either, but 
> I'll keep thinking about it :-) More than bitching at maintainers, I 
> believe that lots of developers, especially "smaller" or infrequent 
> kernel contributors, are frustrated by maintainership issues that the 
> related maintainers might not even be aware of.

Isn't it easy?  The Maintainers summit is going to be part of a larger
kernel track within LinuxCon EU  (not that everyone plans on staying
on, of course, but several will be).  Just put the bitch at Maintainers
session in that as a round table, so any attendee of LinuxCon EU can
come and complain if they want to.

I think also it might be a good idea to separate internal process
issues, which would be done in the small group from external ones,
which should, perhaps, have the Kernel track at LinuxCon visibility.


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