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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 03:00:15 +0100
From: John Weber <we...@nyc.rr.com>
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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I would be happy to serve as patch penguin, as I plan on collecting all
patches anyway in my new duties as maintainer of www.linuxhq.com.

I am currently writing code to scan the usual places for linux patches
and automatically add them to our databases.  This would be really
simplified by having patches sent to us.  And, since we already have a
functioning site, we have the hardware/network capacity to serve as
a limitless queue of waiting patches for Linus.  I would love nothing
more than to update the site with information as to the status of these
patches.

( john.we...@linux.org )




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From: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 06:20:11 +0100
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On Monday 28 January 2002 08:53 pm, John Weber wrote:
> I would be happy to serve as patch penguin, as I plan on collecting all
> patches anyway in my new duties as maintainer of www.linuxhq.com.
>
> I am currently writing code to scan the usual places for linux patches
> and automatically add them to our databases.  This would be really
> simplified by having patches sent to us.  And, since we already have a
> functioning site, we have the hardware/network capacity to serve as
> a limitless queue of waiting patches for Linus.  I would love nothing
> more than to update the site with information as to the status of these
> patches.
>
> ( john.we...@linux.org )

Philosophical question: Would you have a major philosophical objection to 
acting as Dave Jones's secretary and webmaster?  (He is the de facto current 
patch penguin.  I'm just asking for the position to be recognized.  We need 
that before we can really move forward with anything else.  If you were to 
queue patches for Linus and then be ignored by Linus, nothing would have been 
accomplished, and if somebody ELSE then takes your work and integrates it, it 
would be yet more pressure to fork the tree, pressure which I'm trying to 
REDUCE here...)

Remember minix?  Way way way back?  Andrew Tanenbaum had a little kernel, ran 
on intel hardware, came with complete source code.  And he did not accept 
patches, due to his minix book contract and the resulting licensing issues.  
Collaborative development on Linux STARTED in the minix newsgroup, largely by 
recruiting people who were frustrated at trying to get their patches into 
minix.

Remember GNU?  Stalled in the late 80's?  For legal reasons, Richard Stallman 
wanted people to physically sign over their copyrights (on paper he could put 
in his file cabinet) to any code they submitted to the GNU project.  This 
caused way too much friction (and Richard wasn't exactly a coalition building 
statesman either), and eventually people got fed up with the project and took 
their code elsewhere.

These are the kind of pressures that, if they build up high enough, cause 
projects to fork.  It's all different trees with different patches in them, 
and if the patch pressure builds up too high forking is inevitable.  
(Re-integration of forks is also quite possible, they can be short lived.  
But that's the same integration issue, just deferred a bit.)

I'm not saying Linux is in immediate danger of forking, I'm just saying that 
code integration can be a serious limiting factor, and is a potentially 
seperable problem from being a code architect.  I think an explicit full-time 
integration maintainer could reduce/buffer the patch pressure, and that this 
could be good for the project.

Rob
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Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 00:51:55 -0500
X-To: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
X-Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Message-ID: <linux.kernel.20020129005155.A6726@pimlott.ne.mediaone.net>
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Rob, you make a nice case, but consider a few points.

One,

> This integration and patch tracking work is a fairly boring, thankless task, 
> but it's work somebody other than Linus can do, which Linus has to do 
> otherwise. (And which Linus is NOT doing a good job at right now.)

... are you _sure_ that Linus does this?  My sense is that he mostly
eschews integration grunt-work.  If that is so, it's possible that
Linus is already operating near top efficiency, and that his
throughput is as high as he wants it to be!  Linus has pointed out
more than once that a big part of his job is to limit change.  Maybe
he's happy with the current rate of change in 2.5.  (That doesn't
mean everything is optimal--he might wish for higher quality changes
or a different mix of changes, just not more.)

Two, Linus has argued that maintainers are his patch penguins;
whereas you favor a single integration point between the maintainers
and Linus.  This has advantages and disadvantages, but on the whole,
I think it is better if Linus works directly with subsystem
maintainers.  To the extent that Linux is modular, there is little
need for the extra layer (so it is just overhead).  And when there
is a real conflict between subsystems--that's probably just the time
when Linus and the maintainers need to be collaborating directly!
The only "but" is that many people find it hard to work with Linus.
However, Linus made clear in his message that he considers this a
solvable problem (and maybe one you should work on!).

> Finished code 
> regularly goes unintegrated for months at a time, being repeatedly resynced 
> and re-diffed against new trees until the code's maintainer gets sick of it. 

Assuming that your system doesn't dramatically increase Linus's
throughput, code will still have to be re-diffed.  I don't agree
that thrusting all the merging onto one person is the right
solution.  That person is a _much_ bigger scalability bottleneck
than Linus, because (by your definition of the role) he can't drop
patches!  So he will inevitably become overwhelmed, and then we have
a bigger mess.

Frankly, if I were a maintainer, I would want the patch that finally
gets integrated to be one that I produce, not one re-diffed by
someone less familiar with the subsystem.  So, I side with Linus's
"tough, that's part of the maintainer's job" stance.  (Now, tools to
help resync, and to eliminate the tedium of re-submitting to Linus
periodically, would be welcome.)

> Several of the bug fixes in Alan's tree (which he 
> stopped maintaining months ago) still are not present in 2.4.17 or 2.5.

This is plain evidence that a single integration point (and there is
no better than Alan) isn't a panacea.

Three, regarding your complaint about "clean-up" patches being
dropped: maybe this just means there is a maintainer missing from
the pantheon: the clean-up maintainer.

Andrew

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From: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Newsgroups: lucky.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 07:35:07 +0000 (UTC)
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On Tuesday 29 January 2002 01:00 am, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Mon, 28 Jan 2002, Rob Landley wrote:
> > > A word of warning: good maintainers are hard to find.  Getting more of
> > > them helps, but at some point it can actually be more useful to help
> > > the _existing_ ones.  I've got about ten-twenty people I really trust,
> > > and quite frankly, the way people work is hardcoded in our DNA.  Nobody
> > > "really trusts" hundreds of people.  The way to make these things scale
> > > out more is to increase the network of trust not by trying to push it
> > > on me, but by making it more of a _network_, not a star-topology around
> > > me.
> >
> > You don't see an integration maintainer as a step in the right direction?
> > (It's not a star topology, it's a tree.)
>
> No, I don't really think an "integration manager" works well.

So what was Alan Cox doing all those years?  What is Dave Jones currently 
doing?

> I think it helps a lot to have people pick up patches that nobody else
> wants to maintain, and to gather them up. Andrea does that to some degree.

It's not a question of patches people don't want to maintain, it's a question 
of patches getting much wider testing and better feedback when they're in a 
larger tree, and the maintainers of the various patches getting better 
warning about other patches that break them or that they break other patches.

When two developers share a common tree, they notice when they break each 
other's stuff, and they resolve it.  When two developers go off in isolation, 
they break each other's stuff as a matter of course.  And testers who have to 
hunt down a patch are are willing to apply it generally aren't the ones who 
raise an objection once it gets applied to the next tree they download.

> But it is _much_ better if you have somebody who is a point-man for
> specific areas.

I'm not proposing replacing the current subsystem maintainers.  But are the 
current subsystem maintainers happy?

I thought they weren't, but I guess that by their silence, they must be 
thrilled, so...  (Sorry, I seem to be getting a lot more support in private 
than anybody is willing to cc: to the list.  I'm new at this politics 
business...)

> The problem with an overall guy is that there can't be too many of them.
> The very thing you are _complaining_ about is in fact that there are a
> number of over-all guys without clear focus, which only leads to confusion
> about who handles what.
>
> Clarity is good.

The fact Jens Axboe handles one system, Stephen C. Tweedie another, Andre 
Hedrick a third, Rik van Riel a fourth, and Eric Raymond a fifth, is not 
particularly confusing.  It's when the integration and debugging of Jens' 
patches in 2.5 blocks the inclusion of basically anything else for a month or 
two, and then Andre Hedrick has to mount a publicity campaign on linux-kernel 
to get any attention paid to his patches, and Eric's help patches get ignored 
for 33 consecutive releases.

Rik was replaced by Andrea as the VM maintainer, and Rik has publicly stated 
that he thinks you were dropping his VM patches for months at a time, while 
he was the maintainer and the VM was a subsystem definitely in need of 
patches.  Are you saying that the system was working well?  Are you saying 
that it was a one-time thing that is now resolved and won't recur?

Okay, maybe a lot of this is all miscommunication.  But that just identifies 
the TYPE of the problem, doesn't it?

> > Are you saying that Alan Cox's didn't serve a purpose during the 2.2
> > kernel time frame, and that Dave Jones is currently wasting his time?
>
> No, I'm saying that there are not very many peopel who can do it, and who
> can get the kind of trust that they are _everywhere_. Let's face it, Alan
> grew to be respected because he did lots of different stuff over many
> years, and he proved himself more than capable. And I suspect he's _quite_
> happy not being in the middle of it right now.. It's a tough job.

It is a tough job, and I understand that not everybody can be a good 
maintainer.  But currently at least Alan, Dave Jones, and Andrea are all 
maintaining their own public trees, from which they break out patches to send 
on to an "official" Linux tree.  (As for Alan not being "in the middle of 
it", he IS doing his tree again.  He's just doing it for 2.4.  He's basically 
being Marcelo's integration lieutenant.  Whatever he's burned out on, it's 
apparently not the job of maintaining a tree.  And he's doing it for Marcelo, 
whose architect role is largely rejecting as much as he possibly can since 
2.4 is not a development branch...)

You currently HAVE a de facto integration lieutenant, or else I totally 
misunderstand what Dave Jones is doing.  This is not a position for which 
applicants currently need to be interviewed, is it?  (Do you have a complaint 
with the job Dave is doing?)

> It's a lot more likely to find people who can maintain _parts_. And if
> there are patches that fall out of those parts, that tends to indicate a
> lack of modularity, and perhaps a lack of maintainer for those parts.

Sure.  But how do the maintainers piece together their code, resolve the 
obvious conflicts, and get the new stuff tested by live users in the field 
who want to live dangerously?  They USED to feed stuff into the -ac tree, 
months if not YEARS before you accepted (or rejected) it.  That's not my 
opinion or my recommendation, that's history.  I'm simply proposing that 
people consider the fact it might be an important and natural part of the 
process.  (When Alan stopped doing it, somebody else basically got shanghaied 
into doing it.)

> And more likely, even if you _do_ find ten people who can do everything,
> you don't want them to.

No, you want one guy with final responsibility for maintaining any tree.  
Committees produce mostly compromises and deadlocks.  That's why I proposed 
one guy for this job.  As I said, the CVS thing was a confusing side issue.  
(An easier way for the maintainers to do lower-friction merges with the 
integration maintainer, who would by the CVS administrator and would still 
have final say over what goes into his tree.)

But the -ac tree did not serve the same purpose as your tree did, and I was 
under the strong impression that the -ac tree DID serve a purpose.  (And, for 
Marcelo, is starting to do so again.)

There is currently no tree for provisionally integrating code.  Or for taking 
the flood of new driver patches that Alan Cox always fielded.  Not code from 
left field, but code like keith owens' new kbuild, CML2, or rik van riel's 
reverse mapping patches.  Things which have a strong possiblity of being 
integrated (two of the above you okayed at the kernel summit, one you've 
expressed interest in), and are ready for wider testing.

> 		Linus

Rob
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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 09:00:18 +0100
From: Greg KH <g...@kroah.com>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, Jan 29, 2002 at 02:33:24AM -0500, Rob Landley wrote:
> 
> I'm not proposing replacing the current subsystem maintainers.  But are the 
> current subsystem maintainers happy?

I'll speak up here as a subsystem maintainer and say that I'm happy with
the current situation.  I integrate a wide variety of USB driver patches
from lots of different people (and usually in lots of different formats
against different kernel trees) and feed them to Linus/Marcelo/Alan in
small chunks that can be easily applied against their latest kernel
version. 

Sure, sometimes my patches get dropped, but you forgot to mention the
most important thing a kernel programmer needs to have, persistence :)

thanks,

greg k-h
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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 12:10:17 +0100
From: Rik van Riel <r...@conectiva.com.br>
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Mon, 28 Jan 2002, John Weber wrote:

> I would be happy to serve as patch penguin, as I plan on collecting all
> patches anyway in my new duties as maintainer of www.linuxhq.com.

> we have the hardware/network capacity to serve as a limitless queue of
> waiting patches for Linus.

Please don't just accumulate stuff.

It would be useful to know which of the patches still
applies against the most recent 2.2, 2.4 or 2.5 kernel,
so each patch gets some status fields:

1) applies against 2.2
2) applies against 2.4
3) applies against 2.5

4) was applied to 2.2
5) was applied to 2.4
6) was applied to 2.5

7) bitrotted patch, no longer applies and wasn't
   applied ... moved to 'old' queue

kind regards,

Rik
-- 
"Linux holds advantages over the single-vendor commercial OS"
    -- Microsoft's "Competing with Linux" document

http://www.surriel.com/		http://distro.conectiva.com/

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Message-ID: <linux.kernel.3C568C52.2060707@evision-ventures.com>
Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 12:49:38 +0100
From: Martin Dalecki <dale...@evision-ventures.com>
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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Linus Torvalds wrote:

>Some thinking, for one thing.
>
>One "patch penguin" scales no better than I do. In fact, I will claim
>that most of them scale a whole lot worse. 
>
Bla bla bla... Just tell how frequenty do I have to tell the world, that 
the read_ahead array is a write
only variable inside the kernel and therefore not used at 
all?????!!!!!!!!!!


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Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 15:33:34 +0100 (CET)
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Martin Dalecki wrote:

> >One "patch penguin" scales no better than I do. In fact, I will claim
> >that most of them scale a whole lot worse.

> Bla bla bla... Just tell how frequenty do I have to tell the world,
> that the read_ahead array is a write only variable inside the kernel
> and therefore not used at all?????!!!!!!!!!!

tell Jens. He goes about fixing it all, not just the most visible pieces
that showed how much the Linux block IO code sucked. And guess what? His
patches are being accepted, and the Linux 2.5 block IO code is evolving
rapidly. Sometimes keeping broken code around as an incentive to fix it
*for real* is better than trying to massage the broken code somewhat.

a patch penguin doesnt solve this particular problem, by definition he
just wont fix the block IO code.

any other 'examples'?

	Ingo

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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
X-To: mi...@elte.hu
Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:14:43 +0000 (GMT)
X-Cc: dale...@evision-ventures.com (Martin Dalecki),
        torva...@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds), linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org,
        ax...@suse.de (Jens Axboe)
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From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
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Lines: 17

> rapidly. Sometimes keeping broken code around as an incentive to fix it
> *for real* is better than trying to massage the broken code somewhat.
> 
> a patch penguin doesnt solve this particular problem, by definition he
> just wont fix the block IO code.

Ingo, you should have a look at my mailbox and the people sick of trying to
get Linus to take 3 liners to fix NODEV type stuff and being ignored so that
2.5.* still doesn't even compile or boot for many people.

Dave in doing the patch hoovering at least ensures these are picked up. You
think if this carries on anyone will be running Linus tree in 9 months ?
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
X-To: mi...@elte.hu
Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:22:05 +0000 (GMT)
X-Cc: land...@trommello.org (Rob Landley),
        torva...@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds), linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
MIME-Version: 1.0
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From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
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> If a patch gets ignored 33 times in a row then perhaps the person doing
> the patch should first think really hard about the following 4 issues:

Lots of the stuff getting missed is tiny little fixes, obvious 3 or 4 liners.
The big stuff is not the problem most times. That stuff does get ripped to
shreds and picked over as is needed. (Except device drivers, Linus alas has
absolutely no taste in device drivers 8))

People collecting up patches _does_ help big time for all the small fixes.
Especially ones disciplined enough to keep the originals they applied so
they can feed stuff on with that tag. If I sent Linus on a patch that said
"You've missed this fix by Andrew Morton" then Linus knew it was probably
right for example.

> it. Start small, because for small patches people will have the few

Start small and your obvious one line diff, or 3 line typo fix will be
ignored for a decade. There were critical fixes that Linus dropped
repeatedly between 2.4.2 and 2.4.16 or so which ended up being holes in every
non-ac based distro.

Alan


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Newsgroups: mlist.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
X-To: and...@pimlott.ne.mediaone.net (Andrew Pimlott)
Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:06:09 +0000 (GMT)
X-Cc: land...@trommello.org (Rob Landley), linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
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From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
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Lines: 32

> throughput is as high as he wants it to be!  Linus has pointed out
> more than once that a big part of his job is to limit change.  Maybe
> he's happy with the current rate of change in 2.5.  (That doesn't
> mean everything is optimal--he might wish for higher quality changes
> or a different mix of changes, just not more.)

Progress happens at its own rate. Linus can no more control rate of change
than you can put a waterfall into low gear. There is a difference between
refusing stuff where the quality is low and losing stuff which is clear
fixes

> Two, Linus has argued that maintainers are his patch penguins;
> whereas you favor a single integration point between the maintainers
> and Linus.  This has advantages and disadvantages, but on the whole,
> I think it is better if Linus works directly with subsystem

Perl I think very much shows otherwise. Right now we have a maze of partially 
integrated trees which overlap, clash when the people send stuff to Linus and
worse.

When you have one or two integrators you have a single tree pretty much everyone
builds new stuff from and which people maintain small diffs relative to. At
the end of the day that ends up like the older -ac tree, and with the same
conditions - notably that anything in it might be going to see /dev/null not
Linus if its shown to be flawed or not done well.

Alan
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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 16:18:39 +0100 (CET)
From: Ingo Molnar <mi...@elte.hu>
Reply-To: <mi...@elte.hu>
To: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
Cc: Martin Dalecki <dale...@evision-ventures.com>,
        Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
        linux-kernel <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>,
        Jens Axboe <ax...@suse.de>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
In-Reply-To: <E16VY5z-0003sn-00@the-village.bc.nu>
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References: <fa.h21p9nv.1h1ktpq@ifi.uio.no>
Lines: 49


On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Alan Cox wrote:

> Ingo, you should have a look at my mailbox and the people sick of
> trying to get Linus to take 3 liners to fix NODEV type stuff and being
> ignored so that 2.5.* still doesn't even compile or boot for many
> people.

for code areas where there is not active maintainer or the maintainer has
ignored patches? Eg. the majority of the kdev transition patches went in
smoothly.

but i'm not claiming that everything is rosy (i would post patches if
everything was rosy in Linux-land), but i disagree with the majority of
serious examples i've seen cited.

> Dave in doing the patch hoovering at least ensures these are picked
> up. You think if this carries on anyone will be running Linus tree in
> 9 months ?

Dave and you doing patch hoovering is indeed very good. One reason is that
it multithreads the introduction of more risky stuff (by splitting up the
testing effort), and builds up confidence in more complex patches. This is
especially important in the stable cycle - eg. it happened not once that
had eg. some APIC cleanup that was too risky to be added to the stable
branch, and which went into your branch and lived a few iterations (got a
few bugreports) and then went to Linus.

Obviously you wont apply all the complex patches at once - i remember that
occasionally you delayed certain patches of mine because something else
was happening in your tree at that monent. You are simply doing
*different* transitions, but you are constrained by the same basic limits
as Linus' tree is.

Another reason is that you do much more housekeeping in areas that are not
actively maintained. But wouldnt it be better if there were active
maintainers in those areas as well so you could spend more time on eg.
doing the kernel-stack coloring changes?

but i truly believe that for the hard issues there is no solution, and
that most of the patch rejects are due to hard issues.

	Ingo

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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
X-To: mi...@elte.hu
Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:40:50 +0000 (GMT)
X-Cc: a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk (Alan Cox),
        dale...@evision-ventures.com (Martin Dalecki),
        torva...@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds),
        linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org (linux-kernel),
        ax...@suse.de (Jens Axboe)
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> for code areas where there is not active maintainer or the maintainer has
> ignored patches? Eg. the majority of the kdev transition patches went in
> smoothly.

No you merely aren't watching. Most of the maintainers btw are ignoring 2.5
if you do some asking. And a measurable number of the listed maintainer
addresses just bounce.

> Another reason is that you do much more housekeeping in areas that are not
> actively maintained. But wouldnt it be better if there were active
> maintainers in those areas as well so you could spend more time on eg.
> doing the kernel-stack coloring changes?

There never will be maintainers proper for large amounts of stuff, and the
longer Linus deletes and ignores everything from someone new the less people
will bother sending to him. Just look at the size of the diff set between all
the vendor kernels and Linus 2.4.x trees before the giant -ac merge.

Think gcc, think egcs. History is merely beginning to repeat itself

Alan
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From: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Newsgroups: lucky.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 23:02:59 +0000 (UTC)
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On Tuesday 29 January 2002 08:40 am, Alan Cox wrote:
> > for code areas where there is not active maintainer or the maintainer has
> > ignored patches? Eg. the majority of the kdev transition patches went in
> > smoothly.
>
> No you merely aren't watching. Most of the maintainers btw are ignoring 2.5
> if you do some asking. And a measurable number of the listed maintainer
> addresses just bounce.

I'm under the impression Michael Elizabeth Chastain is one such burned out 
maintainer, but hasn't been able to hand over maintainership because Linus 
keeps dropping his patch to change the maintainers file to say "Peter 
Samuelson", and he eventually just gave up trying.

I could be wrong about this.  Ask him.  Or maybe his maintainer hand-over 
patch needs more code review?

> > Another reason is that you do much more housekeeping in areas that are
> > not actively maintained. But wouldnt it be better if there were active
> > maintainers in those areas as well so you could spend more time on eg.
> > doing the kernel-stack coloring changes?
>
> There never will be maintainers proper for large amounts of stuff, and the
> longer Linus deletes and ignores everything from someone new the less
> people will bother sending to him.

Case in point:

--- linux/arch/i386/boot/bootsect.S.old Tue Jan  1 19:41:22 2002
+++ linux/arch/i386/boot/bootsect.S     Tue Jan  1 19:44:02 2002
@@ -158,9 +158,7 @@
        movw    $sread, %si             # the boot sector has already been 
read
        movw    %ax, (%si)

-       xorw    %ax, %ax                # reset FDC
-       xorb    %dl, %dl
-       int     $0x13
+       call    kill_motor              # reset FDC
        movw    $0x0200, %bx            # address = 512, in INITSEG
 next_step:
        movb    setup_sects, %al

Dumb little nit I noticed a few weeks ago, but never bothered to follow up 
on, because it's just not worth it.  Not that potentially saving 3 bytes out 
of the boot sector is a BAD thing, but it's not good enough to be worth the 
effort anymore.  Warning fixing patches are largely the same way: easy to do, 
but why?

This didn't strike me as a healthy development, really...

> Just look at the size of the diff set
> between all the vendor kernels and Linus 2.4.x trees before the giant -ac
> merge.
>
> Think gcc, think egcs. History is merely beginning to repeat itself

I was actually hoping to AVOID that.  (There IS still time.  We're not that 
badly off.  Yet.  I'm just a bit nervous about direction.  The kind of 
stresses I've seen seem (to me) unlikely to improve with time...)

And we ARE using a patch penguin.  You were around, and Dave is around.  I'm 
kind of confused at the level of resistence to formally recognizing what 
basically IS current practice, and has been for YEARS.  (The reason for 
naming the position is we can't just say "alan's tree" anymore.  The position 
went from one person to another person, and as such the position seemed to 
need to be recognized as being separate from the individual.  I didn't expect 
to hit a brick wall on that.  It  didn't seem like a revolutionary idea to 
me...)

> Alan

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From: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Newsgroups: lucky.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 23:20:40 +0000 (UTC)
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<a354iv$ai9$1@penguin.transmeta.com> 
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X-Comment-To: Skip Ford

On Tuesday 29 January 2002 09:30 am, Skip Ford wrote:
> Linus Torvalds wrote:
> [snip]
>
> > A word of warning: good maintainers are hard to find.  Getting more of
> > them helps, but at some point it can actually be more useful to help the
> > _existing_ ones.  I've got about ten-twenty people I really trust, and
>
> Then why not give the subsystem maintainers patch permissions on your tree.
> Sort of like committers.  The problem people have is that you're dropping
> patches from those ten-twenty people you trust.

I understand why he doesn't do that: he can't function if the code is 
changing under him in ways that suprise him.  (Especially he can't function 
as architect without doing code inspection.)

Linus DOES apply larger patches from maintainers with less scrutiny, but 
there still IS scrutiny of each patch.  (At the very least, checking which 
files it touches.)

> Each subsystem maintainer should handle patches to that subsystem, and
> you should remove your own patch permissions for only those subsystems.
> You could get involved with only changes in direction that affect more
> than one subsystem.

Linus also reserves the right to mess with a maintainer's code and force a 
patch back down the tree for them to resync with.  He just did it with the 
help files (after a "private flamewar").  In this case, the maintainer was 
caught by suprise, claiming to be unaware that Linus expected him to make 
that change, which just seems to be one more example of a lack of 
communication between Linus and a maintainer.  This time, instead of Linus 
not getting the maintainer's message (patch), the maintainer doesn't get 
linus's message ("Go do this, in this order".)  So we've got examples of 
messages getting dropped in both directions, making the maintainer look 
inattentive when he claims otherwise, and making Linus look inattentive when 
HE claims otherwise...

Rob
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X-To: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
X-Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
From: Andi Kleen <a...@suse.de>
Date: 	29 Jan 2002 22:56:49 +0100
Message-ID: <linux.kernel.p73aduwddni.fsf@oldwotan.suse.de>
Approved: n...@nntp-server.caltech.edu
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Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk> writes:

> > If a patch gets ignored 33 times in a row then perhaps the person doing
> > the patch should first think really hard about the following 4 issues:
> 
> Lots of the stuff getting missed is tiny little fixes, obvious 3 or 4 liners.
> The big stuff is not the problem most times. That stuff does get ripped to

"Most times". For example the EA patches have badly failed so far, just because
Linus ignored all patches to add sys call numbers for a repeatedly discussed 
and stable API and nobody else can add syscall numbers on i386. 

-Andi
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Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 23:08:52 +0100
Message-ID: <linux.kernel.200201292208.g0TM8ql17622@ns.caldera.de>
From: Christoph Hellwig <h...@ns.caldera.de>
X-To: a...@suse.de (Andi Kleen)
X-Cc: linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org, Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Approved: n...@nntp-server.caltech.edu
Lines: 18

In article <p73aduwddni....@oldwotan.suse.de> you wrote:
> "Most times". For example the EA patches have badly failed so far, just because
> Linus ignored all patches to add sys call numbers for a repeatedly discussed 
> and stable API and nobody else can add syscall numbers on i386. 

There still seems to be a lot of discussion vs EAs and ACLs.
Setting the suboptimal XFS APIs in stone doesn't make the discussion
easier.

	Christoph

-- 
Of course it doesn't work. We've performed a software upgrade.
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From: torva...@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds)
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 23:30:13 +0100
Organization: Transmeta Corporation
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In article <200201292208.g0TM8ql17...@ns.caldera.de>,
Christoph Hellwig  <h...@ns.caldera.de> wrote:
>In article <p73aduwddni....@oldwotan.suse.de> you wrote:
>> "Most times". For example the EA patches have badly failed so far, just because
>> Linus ignored all patches to add sys call numbers for a repeatedly discussed 
>> and stable API and nobody else can add syscall numbers on i386. 
>
>There still seems to be a lot of discussion vs EAs and ACLs.
>Setting the suboptimal XFS APIs in stone doesn't make the discussion
>easier.

In fact, every time I thought that the extended attributes had reached
some kind of consensus, somebody piped up with some apparently major
complaint. 

I think last time it was Al Viro.  Admittedly (_very_ much admittedly),
making Al happy is really really hard.  His perfectionism makes his
patches very easy to accept, but they make it hard for others to try to
make _him_ accept patches.  But since he effectively is the VFS
maintainer whether he wants it to be written down in MAINTAINERS or not,
a comment from him on VFS interfaces makes me jump. 

The last discussion over EA's in my mailbox was early-mid December, and
there were worries from Al and Stephen Tweedie.  I never heard from the
worried people whether their worries were calmed.

Maybe they did, and maybe they didn't.  If somebody doesn't tell me that
they are resolved, and that the people who would actually _use_ and
maintain this interface agrees on it, how can you expect me to ever
apply a patch?

			Linus
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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 18:47:42 -0500
From: "Eric S. Raymond" <e...@thyrsus.com>
To: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Cc: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>, mi...@elte.hu,
        Martin Dalecki <dale...@evision-ventures.com>,
        Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
        linux-kernel <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>,
        Jens Axboe <ax...@suse.de>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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from landley@trommello.org on Tue, Jan 29, 2002 at 05:57:08PM -0500
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Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>:
> And we ARE using a patch penguin.  You were around, and Dave is
> around.  I'm kind of confused at the level of resistence to formally
> recognizing what basically IS current practice, and has been for
> YEARS.  (The reason for naming the position is we can't just say
> "alan's tree" anymore.  The position went from one person to another
> person, and as such the position seemed to need to be recognized as
> being separate from the individual.  I didn't expect to hit a brick
> wall on that.  It didn't seem like a revolutionary idea to me...)

Alas.  That's because, like most Americans these days, you're
historically illiterate.  What we are facing here is a *very* familiar
problem to social and institutional historians. 

All movements founded by charismatic leaders like Linus eventually hit
this same wall -- the point at which the charisma of the founder and
the individual ability of the disciples he personally attracts are no
longer adequate to meet the challenges of success, and some way to
institutionalize and distribute the leader's role has to be found.
Movements that fail to make this transition die, generally by
implosion or fragmenting into feuding sub-sects.

If you were familiar with the historical precedents, Rob, you would 
understand that your modest proposal re-enacts a common pattern.
A relatively junior member of the movement, one with few political
ties, sees the developing stress fractures in the organization of
the movement and proposes a modest, incremental change to relieve
some of them.  Conservatives interpret the attempt to separate 
and institutionalize part of the founder's role as an attack on
the authority of the founder.  Huge flamewars ensue, with the
original pragmatic sense of the proposal often being lost as it
becomes a political football in the movement's internal status games.

Sometimes the first such attempt at institutionization succeeds.  More
often, the movement has to go through a series of escalating crises
(burning up would-be reformers each time) before anyone finally
succeeds in changing the movement's internal culture.

Religions go through this.  Secular social movements go through this.
Companies founded by brilliant entrepreneurs go through this (the
B-schools have a whole literature on "entrepreneurial overcontrol" and
its consequences).  It's one of the dramas that gets perpetually
re-enacted; it's built in to our wiring.  The unhappy truth is that
even *successful* transitions of this kind are invariably painful, and
often leave deep scars on the survivors and on the institution that
arises from the transition.

*Never* expect this sort of transition to be easy, especially when the
positions people are taking are as much about personal identity and
values as they are about "success" in whatever terms the movement
defines it.
-- 
		<a href="http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 17:27:38 -0700 (MST)
From: Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>
Reply-To: Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>
To: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Cc: World Domination Now! <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> They are both maintainers. That doesn't mean that I necessarily work with
> every maintainer directly.
> 
> Or look at USB: I get the USB patches from Greg, and he gets them from
> various different people. Johannes Erdfelt is the maintainer for uhci.c,
> and he sends them to Greg, not to me.
> 
> Why? Because having hundreds of people emailing me _obviously_ doesn't
> scale. Never has, never will. It may work over short timeperiods wih lots
> of energy, but it obviously isn't a stable setup.

Linus,

That's fine, but there's a major problem with your scheme.  What happens
with all the stuff for which no one is listed in MAINTAINERS?  For example,
no one owns linux/Documentation.  As the person nominally in charge of
linux/Documentation/Changes, there's no one between me and you, period, let
alone anyone between me and you that you trust....  And I realize that you
don't consider documentation very important, but there are other segments of
the Linux source tree for which this breakdown in hierarchy is also true....

later,
chris

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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 16:44:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
To: Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>
cc: World Domination Now! <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Chris Ricker wrote:
>
> That's fine, but there's a major problem with your scheme.  What happens
> with all the stuff for which no one is listed in MAINTAINERS?

I have to admit that personally I've always found the MAINTAINERS file
more of an irritation than anything else. The first place _I_ tend to look
personally is actually in the source files themselves (although that may
be a false statistic - the kind of people I tend to have to look up aren't
the main maintainers at all, but more single driver people etc).

It might not be a bad idea to just make that "mention maintainer at the
top of the file" the common case.

		Linus

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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 19:45:36 -0700 (MST)
From: Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>
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To: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Cc: World Domination Now! <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> It might not be a bad idea to just make that "mention maintainer at the
> top of the file" the common case.

You snipped the part I was actually interested in.  Let me try again.

We're agreed that the files themselves are the best indicator of where to
route patches, and that MAINTAINERS isn't useful for much besides deciding
who should get IPO offers ;-).  What I'm wondering is where I, as someone
who is listed in some of the Documentation/* stuff as its maintainer, should
be sending patches.  You want a hierarchy, and I think that's perfectly
reasonable, but I have no idea who the layer of the hierarchy between me and
you is....

later,
chris

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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 18:54:04 -0800 (PST)
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
To: Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>
cc: World Domination Now! <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Chris Ricker wrote:
>
> We're agreed that the files themselves are the best indicator of where to
> route patches, and that MAINTAINERS isn't useful for much besides deciding
> who should get IPO offers ;-).  What I'm wondering is where I, as someone
> who is listed in some of the Documentation/* stuff as its maintainer, should
> be sending patches.  You want a hierarchy, and I think that's perfectly
> reasonable, but I have no idea who the layer of the hierarchy between me and
> you is....

Ahh..

I had the same problem with Documentation/Configure.help, as you saw.

My solution in that case (when the issue came to a flame-fest) was to just
split up the documentation - which makes it a whole lot more maintainable
for everybody, and also makes it fairly explicit who maintains it for most
cases.

Basically, I'd really like documentation to go with the thing it
documents. This is something where the docbook stuff helped noticeably.

			Linus

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From: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:40:12 +0100
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On January 29, 2002 02:54 pm, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> If a patch gets ignored 33 times in a row then perhaps the person doing
> the patch should first think really hard about the following 4 issues:
> 
>   - cleanliness
>   - concept
>   - timing
>   - testing
> 
> a violation of any of these items can cause patch to be dropped *without
> notice*. Face it, it's not Linus' task to teach people how to code or how
> to write correct patches. Sure, he still does teach people most of the
> time, but you cannot *expect* him to be able to do it 100% of the time.

While I agree in general with most of your remarks, I think you're being a 
little too glib here.  Consider my patch to fix group descriptor corruption 
in Ext2, submitted half a dozen times to Linus and other maintainers over the 
course of two years, which was clearly explained, passed scrutiny on 
ext2-devel and lkml, fixed a real problem that really bit people and which 
I'd been running myself over the entire period.  Which one of cleanliness, 
concept, timing or testing did I violate?

If the answer is 'none of the above', then what is wrong with this picture?

--
Daniel
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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 14:00:18 +0100
From: Ingo Molnar <mi...@elte.hu>
Reply-To: <mi...@elte.hu>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:

> [...] Consider my patch to fix group descriptor corruption in Ext2,
> submitted half a dozen times to Linus and other maintainers over the
> course of two years, which was clearly explained, passed scrutiny on
> ext2-devel and lkml, fixed a real problem that really bit people and
> which I'd been running myself over the entire period.  Which one of
> cleanliness, concept, timing or testing did I violate?
>
> If the answer is 'none of the above', then what is wrong with this
> picture?

am i correct that you are referring to this patch?:

   http://www.uwsg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0011.3/0861.html

was this the first iteration of your patch? Your mail is a little more
than 1 year old. You rated the patch as: 'The fix below is kind of
gross.'. Clearly, this does not help getting patches applied.

the ext2 bh-handling code had cleanliness issues before. I had ext2
patches rejected by Linus because they kept the method of passing around
double-pointers, and i have to agree that the code was far from clean. Al
did lots of cleanups in this area, and i think he fixed this issue as
well, didnt he? So where is the problem exactly, does 2.4 still have this
bug?

in terms of 2.2 and 2.0, you should contact the respective maintainers.

	Ingo

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From: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>
Newsgroups: lucky.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On January 29, 2002 03:52 pm, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> 
> > [...] Consider my patch to fix group descriptor corruption in Ext2,
> > submitted half a dozen times to Linus and other maintainers over the
> > course of two years, which was clearly explained, passed scrutiny on
> > ext2-devel and lkml, fixed a real problem that really bit people and
> > which I'd been running myself over the entire period.  Which one of
> > cleanliness, concept, timing or testing did I violate?
> >
> > If the answer is 'none of the above', then what is wrong with this
> > picture?
> 
> am i correct that you are referring to this patch?:
> 
>    http://www.uwsg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0011.3/0861.html
> 
> was this the first iteration of your patch? Your mail is a little more
> than 1 year old.

No, there are versions before that.  The first version, which really was 
inadequate because I didn't know about diff -u at the time (my first patch) 
is about 23 months old.

> You rated the patch as: 'The fix below is kind of
> gross.'. Clearly, this does not help getting patches applied.

Note who the email is addressed to.  I have tried many different techniques 
for communicating with this gentleman, including self-deprecation, and they 
all seem to have the same result: no patch applied, long wait, eventually 
some other patch a long time later will obsolete my patch in some way, and 
the whole thing drifts off into forgotten history.  Err, almost forgotten, 
because the bad taste remains.

And yes, there was a successor to the patch in which I did the job 'properly' 
by cleaning up some other infrastructure instead of just fixing the bug 
locally.  There was also a long lag after I created and submitted that 
version before the bug was actually fixed, and then it was only fixed in 2.4.

All of this only 'since you asked'.  I'd prefer not to dwell on it further, 
but as you could imagine, this story would not have developed this way if we 
have even a minimal form of patch tracking.  At least the bugs would have 
been fixed in all trees, nearly two years earlier.

> the ext2 bh-handling code had cleanliness issues before. I had ext2
> patches rejected by Linus because they kept the method of passing around
> double-pointers, and i have to agree that the code was far from clean.

Exactly.  The successor patch to the 'kind of gross' patch got rid of the 
double-pointers, it was the proper fix, though there is still no excuse for 
leaving the bug hanging around while coming up with the better version.

> Al did lots of cleanups in this area, and i think he fixed this issue as
> well, didnt he? So where is the problem exactly, does 2.4 still have this
> bug?

Oh yes, there are a few problems with what happened:

  - It left the bug circulating out in the wild far longer than
    necessary, and it bit people, pissing them off, especially when
    they figured out there was a patch not applied.

  - While it got fixed in the 2.4 tree, it didn't get fixed in 2.2 or
    for all I know, 2.0.

  - It pissed me off.

> in terms of 2.2 and 2.0, you should contact the respective maintainers.

This was taken care of by a good samaritan:

   http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-kernel&m=100989249313641&w=2

-- 
Daniel
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Original-Date: 	Tue, 29 Jan 2002 23:37:11 -0500 (EST)
From: Alexander Viro <v...@math.psu.edu>
To: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>
cc: mi...@elte.hu, Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>,
        Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>, linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:

> Note who the email is addressed to.  I have tried many different techniques 
> for communicating with this gentleman, including self-deprecation, and they 
> all seem to have the same result

Trying a bit of intellectual honesty would help big way.

Realizing that ext2 patches should be sent to ext2 maintainers would help
even more.

You've spent _months_ ignoring the idea above.  You've tried many different
techniques for what, exactly?  To push that stuff to a guy who is not, was not
and had never been maintainer of the code in question?  Wow.

And yes, it had been told to you from the very beginning.  tytso, sct and akpm
are the right guys for such stuff.  It's their code, they do maintain it
and I think in all cases I've sent ext2 patches it was only after ACK from
ext2 folks.

If it took you a fscking year to realize that, despite having it explained to
you in details...  Don't you feel yourself an idiot?

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From: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>
Newsgroups: lucky.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 07:19:35 +0000 (UTC)
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On January 30, 2002 05:37 am, Alexander Viro wrote:
> On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> > Note who the email is addressed to.  I have tried many different techniques 
> > for communicating with this gentleman, including self-deprecation, and they 
> > all seem to have the same result
> 
> Trying a bit of intellectual honesty would help big way.

I've been entirely straightforward and honest.  If I were intellectually
dishonest, I would smile and take the crap from you, as others do  But that
is not me as you know, and I suppose that is why you let your venom out.
(And don't say you don't, I have irc logs enough to prove that point.)

By the way, do you think that your constant dissing of me, typically
behind my back, makes people respect you more?

> Realizing that ext2 patches should be sent to ext2 maintainers would help
> even more.
> 
> You've spent _months_ ignoring the idea above.  You've tried many different
> techniques for what, exactly?  To push that stuff to a guy who is not, was not
> and had never been maintainer of the code in question?  Wow.

Linus just called you the ext2 maintainer.  If you do not consider yourself
to be the ext2 maintainer, when was the last time you submitted a patch
through Ted?

In any event, a reasonable patch was submitted to Ted:

   http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=ext2-devel&m=99039802717798&w=2

with zero results one way or the other, probably because Ted, who hadn't
been seen on the ext2-devel list for some time at that point, was up to his
ears in something else.  A version of the patch was forwarded to you at
that time, and you also subscribe to ext2-devel, so you knew the whole
store, including the fact that Andrew had signed of on it:

  http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=ext2-devel&m=99054430703022&w=2

Now, you could say that at this point the ball was in my/Ted's court, and
you'd be right, except for the fact that there was yet another go around on
it, just before 2.5 opened, when Alan for some reason wanted to wait for 2.5
to open, and again just after 2.5 opened, when I offered the patch again and
you refused it because you planned to obsolete it.

I found the whole story fairly distasteful, and even so, I would have
forgotten about it if Villa Herva had not noticed that I was being jerked
around, and brought it to the attention of the community.  By the way, I
had nothing to do with this, I'd never heard of him before he made his
post.

A similar story was played out with the fs.h cleanups.  I'm unhappy with
the way you handled that, as well.

> And yes, it had been told to you from the very beginning.  tytso, sct and akpm
> are the right guys for such stuff.  It's their code, they do maintain it
> and I think in all cases I've sent ext2 patches it was only after ACK from
> ext2 folks.
>
> If it took you a fscking year to realize that, despite having it explained to
> you in details...  Don't you feel yourself an idiot?

No I do not, and it is precisely that kind of remark that makes you hard
or impossible to get along with.

-- 
Daniel
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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 02:58:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Alexander Viro <v...@math.psu.edu>
To: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>
cc: mi...@elte.hu, Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>,
        Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>, linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:

> Linus just called you the ext2 maintainer.

Message-ID, please?

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From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
To: Alexander Viro <v...@math.psu.edu>
cc: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>, <mi...@elte.hu>,
        Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>, <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Alexander Viro wrote:
> On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> > Linus just called you the ext2 maintainer.
>
> Message-ID, please?

I called you the VFS maintainer ("whether you like it or not" I think I
said. Although I can't find the message right now).

Now, that obviously does imply a certain control over low-level
filesystems, but it really mainly implies a control over the _interfaces_
used to talk the the filesystem, not the filesystem itself.

I personally really wouldn't mind seeing most filesystem patches coming
through Al (and, in fact, in the inode trimming patches that is partly
what as been happening), but I have this nagging suspicion that some
filesystem maintainers would rather eat barbed wire (*).

		Linus

(*) The discussions between Gooch and Al are always "interesting", to name
some names.

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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 03:36:45 -0500 (EST)
From: Alexander Viro <v...@math.psu.edu>
To: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
cc: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>, mi...@elte.hu,
        Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>, linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> Now, that obviously does imply a certain control over low-level
> filesystems, but it really mainly implies a control over the _interfaces_
> used to talk the the filesystem, not the filesystem itself.
> 
> I personally really wouldn't mind seeing most filesystem patches coming
> through Al (and, in fact, in the inode trimming patches that is partly

I would, though.  Inode-trimming is a separate story - it's a massive series of
interface-changing patches (55 chunks already merged, more to follow) and
any help is certainly welcome - it's a friggin' lot of work (and there was
quite a help - from Jeff, Urban, Christoph...)

	However, I really don't want to be in position when patches to fs
internals are fed through me.  I can give comments.  I can do code review.
I can look through the code and discuss VFS/VM/etc. changes that might be
useful.  I can actually decide to do these changes myself.  That's all nice
and dandy, but let's face it - most of filesystem internals patches are pretty
local and fs maintainers _MUST_ be the first recepients of such patches.

	I don't have Alan's patience.  And I don't believe that I can run
a clearinghouse tree for *all* fs patches - it's pretty much guaranteed to end
up with burnout in a month or so.  BTW, IIRC Jeff Garzik had been doing
something similar unofficially, but I've no idea how he feels about giving
it official status.

	Frankly, the only real issue in that thread was that we _do_ need
a tree specifically for small fixes.  Preferably - quickly getting merged
into the main tree.  And that's a hard work - davej seems to be doing that
and I admire the efforts he's able and willing to put into that stuff.
I know that I couldn't pull that off.

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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
From: Miles Lane <mi...@megapathdsl.net>
X-To: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
X-Cc: Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>,
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On Tue, 2002-01-29 at 16:44, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> 
> On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Chris Ricker wrote:
> >
> > That's fine, but there's a major problem with your scheme.  What happens
> > with all the stuff for which no one is listed in MAINTAINERS?
> 
> I have to admit that personally I've always found the MAINTAINERS file
> more of an irritation than anything else. The first place _I_ tend to look
> personally is actually in the source files themselves (although that may
> be a false statistic - the kind of people I tend to have to look up aren't
> the main maintainers at all, but more single driver people etc).
> 
> It might not be a bad idea to just make that "mention maintainer at the
> top of the file" the common case.

I do similarly when I am testing Gnome software, but there
I have the CVS sources to look at, including carefully updated
ChangeLog files.  I find the ChangeLogs and the output of
"cvs log ChangeLog" to be highly informative and helpful when
attempting to track down the appropriate person to contact.
Is it feasible to set up a read-only anonymous cvs server for
the kernel tree?  It seems to me that it would be nice to 
good to have ChangeLogs for the kernel directories as well.

	Miles

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From: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Newsgroups: lucky.linux.kernel
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Tuesday 29 January 2002 08:38 pm, Miles Lane wrote:
> On Tue, 2002-01-29 at 16:44, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > It might not be a bad idea to just make that "mention maintainer at the
> > top of the file" the common case.
>
> I do similarly when I am testing Gnome software, but there
> I have the CVS sources to look at, including carefully updated
> ChangeLog files.  I find the ChangeLogs and the output of
> "cvs log ChangeLog" to be highly informative and helpful when
> attempting to track down the appropriate person to contact.
> Is it feasible to set up a read-only anonymous cvs server for
> the kernel tree?  It seems to me that it would be nice to
> good to have ChangeLogs for the kernel directories as well.

This isn't necessarily a problem for Linus to handle.

Right now, it's pretty easy to find/generate diffs between each "pre 
release".  Each of those could be incrementally fed into a CVS server, and 
bang, you have a revision history.  The granualrity might not be the 
greatest, but it's a start, and it can be done retroactively.  (I vaguely 
remember hearing some work along these lines...)

Now to get the kind of patch level granuarity that Linus likes to have made 
available to the rest of the world, you need the actual patches, as applied, 
made available.  Getting a patch penguin (I.E. Alan Cox or Dave Jones) to do 
this might not be too hard (as long as it's not too much work), but not 
enough patches go through them at the moment to necessarily make it 
worthwhile.

Long ago I suggested that since the way Linus works is "append various emails 
to a big file, then feed that to patch(1) at the end of a mail run", it 
should be possible to send Linus a perl script that copies the individual 
emails from the big file to a mailing list when he patches his tree.  Not 
just the actual patch, but the whole email with the description of the fix 
and everything.  (Again, no guarantee he wouldn't back them out again, but 
it's something that really requires no extra work on his part, gives 
immediate acknowledgement that he's looked at something, and gives the rest 
of the world access to the level of granularity he expects to receive from 
them.)

Of course until such a script is actually written, with a mailing list set up 
for it to post to (read-only except for Linus), it's just an idle thought I 
haven't had time to pursue.  (The diffs between pre-versions have generally 
been good enough for me personally, so...)

If the "patches-to-linus" list does get implemented, it would probably also 
be fairly easy to automatically match new pre-X->pre-Y diffs against the 
recent patches from the list, and extract most of the information that way.  
(Assuming Linus doesn't modify them too much, or end up taking a lot of 
patches from other sources.  A human would probably still have to do at least 
part of it, but it might be an improvement on just putting the whole big 
version diff in the cvs tree as one lump...)

> 	Miles

Rob
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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 03:47:46 -0500
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To: Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>
Cc: Miles Lane <mi...@megapathdsl.net>, Chris Ricker <kab...@gatech.edu>,
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, Jan 30, 2002 at 03:06:15AM -0500, Rob Landley wrote:
> If the "patches-to-linus" list does get implemented, it would probably also 
> be fairly easy to automatically match new pre-X->pre-Y diffs against the 
> recent patches from the list, and extract most of the information that way.  
> (Assuming Linus doesn't modify them too much, or end up taking a lot of 
> patches from other sources.  A human would probably still have to do at least 
> part of it, but it might be an improvement on just putting the whole big 
> version diff in the cvs tree as one lump...)

Instead of doing this stuff half-assed, just convince Linus to use BK :)

	Jeff



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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 01:21:09 -0800 (PST)
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
To: Alexander Viro <v...@math.psu.edu>
cc: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>, <mi...@elte.hu>,
        Rob Landley <land...@trommello.org>, <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Alexander Viro wrote:
>
> 	Frankly, the only real issue in that thread was that we _do_ need
> a tree specifically for small fixes.  Preferably - quickly getting merged
> into the main tree.

A "small stuff" maintainer may indeed be a good idea. The maintainer could
be the same as somebody who does bigger stuff too, but they should be
clearly different things - trivial one-liners that do not add anything
new, only fix obvious stuff (to the point where nobody even needs to think
about it - if I'd start getting any even halfway questionable patches from
the "small stuff" maintainer, it wouldn't work).

		Linus

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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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In article <20020130034746.K32...@havoc.gtf.org>,
Jeff Garzik  <gar...@havoc.gtf.org> wrote:
>
>Instead of doing this stuff half-assed, just convince Linus to use BK :)

The thing is, I actually _want_ to use BK (as opposed to CVS, which I
really don't think cuts it). 

I still dislike some things (those SHOUTING SCCS files) in bk, and let's
be honest: I've used CVS, but I've never really used BK. Larry has given
me the demos, and I actually decided to re-do the examples, but it takes
time and effort to get used to new tools, and I'm a bit worried that
I'll find other things to hate than just those loud filenames.

This is partly why I asked how many people use it..

		Linus
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
X-To: torva...@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds)
Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 10:06:35 +0000 (GMT)
X-Cc: v...@math.psu.edu (Alexander Viro),
        phill...@bonn-fries.net (Daniel Phillips), mi...@elte.hu,
        land...@trommello.org (Rob Landley), linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org
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> A "small stuff" maintainer may indeed be a good idea. The maintainer could
> be the same as somebody who does bigger stuff too, but they should be
> clearly different things - trivial one-liners that do not add anything
> new, only fix obvious stuff (to the point where nobody even needs to think
> about it - if I'd start getting any even halfway questionable patches from
> the "small stuff" maintainer, it wouldn't work).

So if someone you trusted actually started batching up small fixes and 
sending you things like

"37 random documentation updates - no code changed", "11 patches to fix
kmalloc checks", "maintainers updates to 6 network drivers"

that would work sanely ? I think that would actually fix a lot of the stuff 
getting lost right now. Its mostly small stuff, often from new people, or from
folks who met a bug, fixed it and have a totally seperate and rather more 
important (to them) project and deadline to meet that is going walkies.

It also increases bandwidth for sorting out the big stuff.

The other related question is device driver implementation stuff (not interfaces
and abstractions). You don't seem to check that much anyway, or have any taste
in device drivers 8) so should that be part of the small fixing job ?

Alan
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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 13:59:56 +0100 (CET)
From: Roman Zippel <zip...@linux-m68k.org>
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        World Domination Now! <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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Hi,

On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Jeff Garzik wrote:

> Instead of doing this stuff half-assed, just convince Linus to use BK :)

I don't care what Linus uses, but Linus decision should not lock other
developers into using the same tools, e.g. it should not become
inconvenient to send simple patches. The basic communication tools should
still be mail and patches. What we IMO need is a patch management system
not a source management system.

bye, Roman

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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 15:31:47 +0000 (GMT)
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> I don't care what Linus uses, but Linus decision should not lock other
> developers into using the same tools, e.g. it should not become
> inconvenient to send simple patches. The basic communication tools should
> still be mail and patches. What we IMO need is a patch management system
> not a source management system.

Thats been promised long back. And Linus said many times both in mail and
in person that if he started using bitkeeper he wouldnt force others to do
so.

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Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 09:20:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
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        Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>, <mi...@elte.hu>,
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Alan Cox wrote:
>
> So if someone you trusted actually started batching up small fixes and
> sending you things like
>
> "37 random documentation updates - no code changed", "11 patches to fix
> kmalloc checks", "maintainers updates to 6 network drivers"
>
> that would work sanely ?

Yes. That would take a whole lot of load off me - load I currently handle
by just not sweating the small stuff, and concentrating on the things I
think are important.

> The other related question is device driver implementation stuff (not interfaces
> and abstractions). You don't seem to check that much anyway, or have any taste
> in device drivers 8) so should that be part of the small fixing job ?

I think it has some of the same issues, but I really would prefer to have
it in a separate batch.

Quite frankly, this is a large part of what you did..

		Linus

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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 10:24:59 -0700
From: Andreas Dilger <adil...@turbolabs.com>
To: Jeff Garzik <gar...@havoc.gtf.org>
Cc: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>, linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org,
        l...@bitmover.com
Subject: Re: real BK usage (was: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin)
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On Wed, Jan 30, 2002 at 09:33:19AM +0000, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> I still dislike some things (those SHOUTING SCCS files) in bk, and let's
> be honest: I've used CVS, but I've never really used BK. Larry has given
> me the demos, and I actually decided to re-do the examples, but it takes
> time and effort to get used to new tools, and I'm a bit worried that
> I'll find other things to hate than just those loud filenames.

Well, the one benefit of using SCCS directories (which are only 1/3
louder than CVS directories) is that tools like patch, make, ctags, emacs
(I believe), etc. already understand what they are and how to extract
the latest version of a file from there.  If these tools were changed
to also recognize .SCCS dirs, then BK could eventually follow suit, but
it would be impractical until they are widely available.*

On Jan 30, 2002  05:07 -0500, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> One issue I'm interested in, and Larry and I have chatted about this a
> couple times, is making sure that the "standard" patch flow isn't
> affected... and what I mean by that is out-of-order and/or modified
> patches.

I would have to agree.  Ted uses BK for e2fsprogs, and there have been
several times when I try to send him a CSET, but he is unable to apply
it because it is missing dependencies, even though I know those prior
CSETs are actually independent changes that just happen to touch the
same files.

It is double-plus bad when those changes are not just ones I've forgotten,
but ones that I know Ted does not want to have in his tree, or are not
in a state where I want to send them to him yet.  This makes me keep
several local repositories - pristine, changes for Ted, changes for me,
etc.  Not fatal, but not as easy as keeping a single tree and pulling
out diffs as needed.

Also, (BK feature request time) there are times when I've done a 'bk citool'
and committed a bunch of changes into a CSET, and later on done some more
testing which revealed a bug or found that I'd forgotten to change the
man page to track the changes I made.  I'd much rather be able to merge
some more changes into the same CSET instead of creating a second CSET and
now have two CSETs to ship around for what is logically a single change.**

I think it would quickly become a nightmare if you had to submit (and
have accepted!) all of your changes to Linus IN ORDER.  As it stands now,
there are lots of discrete changes I have in my ext2 tree, and whenever
I get around to it or when people hit the same bug as me I generate a
patch, edit out the irrelevant parts, and send it out.***

Granted, it is hard to keep distributed BK repositories consistent if you
apply patches out of order, but at the same time, this is how development
works in real life.  Two solutions I can see to this:

1) Allow out-of-order CSET application (maybe with some sort of warning
   that Linus can turn off, because _every_ CSET he would get would be
   missing dependencies from somebody's tree).
2) Allow "proxy" CSETs to be included which say "the changes from adilger
   adil...@lynx.adilger.int|ChangeSet|20011226061040|56205 changed lines
   X-Y, Z of file fs/ext2/super.c" but doesn't actually contain those
   changes, so that the CSET dependency graph is still kept intact.  The
   proxies would clearly be marked as such in the repository.  You would
   (at proxy CSET creation time) validate that these proxies in fact DO NOT
   change any of the same lines that the later CSET changes (saves you from
   sending a patch that won't merge).  Later on, you can really send those
   CSETs to replace the proxies, or if there are conflicting changes in
   the upstream tree it is up to you to resolve them.

> Obviously this wouldn't apply if you fed BK patches into GNU patch, and
> then issued the commit from there...  but that way is a bit lossy, since
> you would need to recreate rename information among other things.

It would also lose the BK CSET identification, which would tell the
original submitter (and his local repository) that the patch was applied,
and when Linus sent out new patches/CSETs, the original submitter would
have to manually resolve these conflicts each time.  Maybe if BK had a
feature like patch, which says 'It appears that the changes in this CSET
have already been applied in <foo>, let's use <foo> instead'.

Cheers, Andreas

(*)  Larry, time to submit patches now so we can use BK for 2.7 ;-)
(**) Maybe I just don't know enough about how to use BK.  There are also
     a lot of distributed database issues involved of which I'm unaware.
(***)Maybe this is just another manifestation of fixes getting lost
     because they need a lot of attention to get into the kernel.
--
Andreas Dilger
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2resize/
http://www-mddsp.enel.ucalgary.ca/People/adilger/

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Original-Date: 	Wed, 30 Jan 2002 09:56:23 -0800 (PST)
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
To: Andreas Dilger <adil...@turbolabs.com>
cc: Jeff Garzik <gar...@havoc.gtf.org>, <linux-ker...@vger.kernel.org>,
        <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: Re: real BK usage (was: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin)
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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Andreas Dilger wrote:
>
> Well, the one benefit of using SCCS directories (which are only 1/3
> louder than CVS directories)

Note that I dislike CVS too. So it's not 1/3 loader than CSV, it's
infinitely louder than nothing at all, and it's quite noticeably louder
than a ".bitkeeper" subdirectory.

>			 is that tools like patch, make, ctags,
> emacs (I believe), etc. already understand what they are and how to
> extract the latest version of a file from there.

So past stupidities would keep you from doing it _right_?

>				  If these tools were
> changed to also recognize .SCCS dirs, then BK could eventually follow
> suit, but it would be impractical until they are widely available.*

Don't be silly. It obviously works the other way. Nobody patches lots of
different tools for a situation that doesn't even exist. But patching
_one_ tool (bk) to be sane makes sense, and then if/when people start
using them, the other tools will certainly follow.

> I would have to agree.  Ted uses BK for e2fsprogs, and there have been
> several times when I try to send him a CSET, but he is unable to apply
> it because it is missing dependencies, even though I know those prior
> CSETs are actually independent changes that just happen to touch the
> same files.

I won't use changesets for this reason, and Larry knows it. I'd still
apply patches, even if I was using bk. It's not as if everybody else would
use bk anyway.

The advantage of bk is that unlike CVS I can use bk in many different
places, and just clone the bk trees. Let's face it, CVS branches suck,
always have, and always will. CVS doesn't allow you to have different CVS
trees, and if one of them starts to look successful, you merge that tree
into your main one.

So I'd personally use changesets just for my _own_ use.

Now, Larry has promised me usable changesets for a long time, but it
obviously hasn't happened yet.

		Linus

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Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin

From: Matthew D. Pitts (mpitts@suite224.net)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 07:49:41 EST

Chris,

Thank you for saying this... I have things I would like do/add to the kernel
and I am not sure who to send them to.

Also, is there presently a maintainer for Supermount? If not, I would be
willing to pick it up for 2.5.x, as it is one of the things I want to work
on.

Matthew D. Pitts

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Ricker" <kaboom@gatech.edu>
To: "Linus Torvalds" <torvalds@transmeta.com>
Cc: "World Domination Now!" <linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 9:45 PM
Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin

> On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>
> > It might not be a bad idea to just make that "mention maintainer at the
> > top of the file" the common case.
>
> You snipped the part I was actually interested in. Let me try again.
>
> We're agreed that the files themselves are the best indicator of where to
> route patches, and that MAINTAINERS isn't useful for much besides deciding
> who should get IPO offers ;-). What I'm wondering is where I, as someone
> who is listed in some of the Documentation/* stuff as its maintainer,
should
> be sending patches. You want a hierarchy, and I think that's perfectly
> reasonable, but I have no idea who the layer of the hierarchy between me
and
> you is....
>
> later,
> chris
>
> -
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Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin

From: Rob Landley (landley@trommello.org)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 16:03:22 EST

On Wednesday 30 January 2002 07:49 am, Matthew D. Pitts wrote:
> Chris,
>
> Thank you for saying this... I have things I would like do/add to the
> kernel and I am not sure who to send them to.

No, if you're not a maintainer then you still send them to the maintainer in
the MAINTAINERS file.

The interesting question is, who does THAT maintainer send them to. (We seem
to be heading for a four-tiered system, with Linus at the top, a dozen or so
lieutenants under him, and then the specific maintainers under them. With
individual developers submitting patches being the fourth tier. Patches go
from developer, to maintainer, to lieutenant, to linus.)

This doesn't sound like a bad thing for scalability reasons, and should also
help address the "I sent my patch directly to linus a dozen times and I
didn't hear back" problem.

The problem right now is a lot of the maintainers don't seem to know who
their corresponding lieutenant is. We're still waiting for clarification
from Linus...

> Also, is there presently a maintainer for Supermount? If not, I would be
> willing to pick it up for 2.5.x, as it is one of the things I want to work
> on.

I didn't spot one in MAINTAINERS. The email at the top of "mount.h" says:

> * Author: Marco van Wieringen <mvw@planets.elm.net>

So that might be a good person to ask. Of course who knows how old that
email address is... :)

> Matthew D. Pitts

Rob
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Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin

From: Jesse Pollard (pollard@tomcat.admin.navo.hpc.mil)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 17:39:48 EST

--------- Received message begins Here ---------
Rob Landley <landley@trommello.org>:
>
> On Wednesday 30 January 2002 07:49 am, Matthew D. Pitts wrote:
> > Chris,
> >
> > Thank you for saying this... I have things I would like do/add to the
> > kernel and I am not sure who to send them to.
>
> No, if you're not a maintainer then you still send them to the maintainer in
> the MAINTAINERS file.
>
> The interesting question is, who does THAT maintainer send them to. (We seem
> to be heading for a four-tiered system, with Linus at the top, a dozen or so
> lieutenants under him, and then the specific maintainers under them. With
> individual developers submitting patches being the fourth tier. Patches go
> from developer, to maintainer, to lieutenant, to linus.)
>
> This doesn't sound like a bad thing for scalability reasons, and should also
> help address the "I sent my patch directly to linus a dozen times and I
> didn't hear back" problem.
>
> The problem right now is a lot of the maintainers don't seem to know who
> their corresponding lieutenant is. We're still waiting for clarification
> from Linus...

Ummm. this might be silly, but shouldn't those announcements come from
the lieutenants?

Linus has announced who he accepts patches frin, and who will be doing the 2.0,
2.2, and 2.4 maintenance. It would seem logical to have those lieutenants
announce their maintainers.

How would Linus actually know who, (after his lieutenants) SHOULD send mail
to the lieutenants?

That is the problem in the first place...

It would help to have the information in the MAINTAINERS file though. As well
as the auxilary mailing lists supporting that activity. That way, users
who find a bug/create a patch/whatever would have an easier time locating
where to send the patch. Especially when it doesn't directly affect the
core kernel.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jesse I Pollard, II
Email: pollard@navo.hpc.mil

Any opinions expressed are solely my own.
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Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin

From: Daniel Phillips (phillips@bonn-fries.net)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 21:39:11 EST

On January 30, 2002 11:39 pm, Jesse Pollard wrote:
> Linus has announced who he accepts patches frin, and who will be doing the
> 2.0, 2.2, and 2.4 maintenance. It would seem logical to have those
> lieutenants announce their maintainers.

Logical flaw: Marcelo is the maintainer of 2.4, Linus is the maintainer of
2.5, does it make sense for Marcelo to announce the maintainer of usb for
2.4?

It's not as simple as you'd think. Reason: it's not a tree, it's an
acyclic graph. Hopefully. ;-)

-- 
Daniel
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Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin

From: Rob Landley (landley@trommello.org)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 22:29:39 EST

On Wednesday 30 January 2002 09:39 pm, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> On January 30, 2002 11:39 pm, Jesse Pollard wrote:
> > Linus has announced who he accepts patches frin, and who will be doing
> > the 2.0, 2.2, and 2.4 maintenance. It would seem logical to have those
> > lieutenants announce their maintainers.
>
> Logical flaw: Marcelo is the maintainer of 2.4, Linus is the maintainer of
> 2.5, does it make sense for Marcelo to announce the maintainer of usb for
> 2.4?
>
> It's not as simple as you'd think. Reason: it's not a tree, it's an
> acyclic graph. Hopefully. ;-)

I'm still trying to figure out who all the lieutenants are. (It seems Andre
Hedrick reports to Jens Axboe, Rik van Riel might actually report to.. Andrea
Arcangeli? (Or Dave Jones.) But who does Eric send his help patches to? Is
Kieth Owens at the top level or what? It seems like both Kieth and Eric are
also under Dave Jones. I guess "patch penguin" is just "Miscelaneous
Lieutenant". Makes sense i the new context, I suppose...)

I expect it will all get worked out eventually. Now that the secret of the
difference between maintainers and lieutenants is out. The thread seems to
be dying down a bit... :)

Rob
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Cc: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>,
        Jesse Pollard <poll...@tomcat.admin.navo.hpc.mil>,
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Subject: Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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On Wed, Jan 30, 2002 at 10:29:39PM -0500, Rob Landley wrote:
> I expect it will all get worked out eventually.  Now that the secret of the 
> difference between maintainers and lieutenants is out.  The thread seems to 
> be dying down a bit... :)

There Is No Cabal
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Subject: Re: [lkml] Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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Jeff Garzik <gar...@havoc.gtf.org> writes:

> There Is No Cabal

or, alternatively, "If you want *BSD, you know where to find it."  The
funny thing is that the BSDs have all this hierarchy and whatnot, and
they still fight about it.

OTOH, I used to avoid Debian because it looked like more of an
ideology than a distribution, but once I ignored the sacred texts, it
was possible to learn that the distribution itself works _really_
well, and I could accept that was a result of the church.  But I still
don't know how to build a .deb.

ian

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From: torva...@transmeta.com (Linus Torvalds)
Subject: Re: [lkml] Re: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
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In article <9cfy9iefvbt....@rogue.ncsl.nist.gov>,
Ian Soboroff  <ian.sobor...@nist.gov> wrote:
>
>or, alternatively, "If you want *BSD, you know where to find it."  The
>funny thing is that the BSDs have all this hierarchy and whatnot, and
>they still fight about it.

I think the fact is that the grass is always greener somewhere else, and
all approaches have their problems. 

And it's always easier to point out problems with existing setups than
it is to come up with constructive changes. People end up wanting to
re-design everything, because that way they can make sure the problems
are gone - without really even knowing what new problems will appear
after a re-designed process.

The same thing happens in coding too, of course - you just _know_ you
can solve some problem by changing how something is done, and when you
actually code it up, you notice that "yes, I solved the problem", but
you also notice that "but now I have this other thing..". 

This is why trial-and-error is such a powerful way of doing things: try
many things, and yes, they all have their problems, but on the whole you
probably end up selecting the approaches where the problems are the
_least_ irritating.

The BIG problem with things like project management is that you simply
_cannot_ do lots of different trial-and-error things.  Sure, you can
try, and you'll get very Dilbertesque results: "The answer to all
problems: re-organize". 

Anyway, I'm actually personally willing to make small trials, and right
now I'm trying to see if it makes any difference if I try to use BK for
a month or two. I seriously doubt it will really "fix" everything, but
neither do I think big re-organizations and patch-lists will. But I'd be
stupid if I wasn't willing to try something.

(So far, trying out BK has only meant that I have spent _none_ of my
time merging patches and reading email, and most of my time writing
helper scripts and emails to Larry to make it possible to use BK in sane
ways that suit me. And I'll doubt you'll see any real productivity
increase from me for a while ;)

			Linus
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