[Ksummit-discuss] "Maintainer summit" invitation discussion

Josh Triplett josh at joshtriplett.org
Wed Apr 19 20:14:29 UTC 2017


On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:50:15PM +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.
> 
> One idea I've been thinking of was to gather constructive feedback (or just 
> feedback that would then be filtered out of pointless finger-pointing and 
> bitching) about our maintainers, aggregate it periodically, and submit it to 
> the maintainers, possibly in an anonymized form. A maintainer summit is 
> certainly no place to gather that feedback, but could be an occasion to decide 
> whether such a process would be deemed useful. I for one, while I only 
> maintain drivers and not whole subsystems, would certainly welcome 
> constructive criticism in that area.
> 
> > 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.

I'd definitely like to see an "issues that affect casual/occasional
contributors" discussion; it wouldn't really fit the maintainer summit,
but I like James' suggestion of doing it as part of the attached
LinuxCon.

In terms of framing, though, I'd suggest keeping it focused on "what
issues have you personally encountered or directly observed", rather
than "what random process ideas do you have".  The latter would go
downhill very quickly; the former seems much more likely to produce
productive feedback on real problems.  (It's less important that they
come with potential solutions than that the relevant problems get
recorded for subsequent consideration.)

Will the maintainer summit occur *after* the overlapped conference, or
*before*?  If after, then it'd be plausible to have a "let's talk about
what we heard" session in the maintainer summit.


More information about the Ksummit-discuss mailing list