[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] MAINTAINERS cleanup

Ronald S. Bultje rsbultje at gmail.com
Sun Jun 12 13:57:03 CEST 2016


I don't care much for MAINTAINERS, I certainly don't use it for anything,
but ...

On Sat, Jun 11, 2016 at 12:31 PM, Michael Niedermayer <
michael at niedermayer.cc> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 11, 2016 at 01:55:01PM +0200, Clément Bœsch wrote:
> > On Sat, Jun 11, 2016 at 12:57:13PM +0200, Michael Niedermayer wrote:
> > > Hi
> > >
> > > the MAINTAINERs file contains a bunch of inaccurate and outdated
> > > entries.
> > >
> > > What should be done about this ?
> > > should we remove everyone who was inactive in FFmpeg
> > > (aka no commit/author since 2 years) as in git log --first-parent ... ?
> > > should we mark everyone above as inactive instead like "(inactive)"
> > >
> > > shuuld someone send mails to everyone and ask if they stil maintain
> > > the code they are listed for ?
> > >
> >
> > I'd say at most 30% of the file is still accurate, which means 70% of the
> > file could be dropped. And then we'll see that it's so small the file is
> > mostly irrelevant.
> >
> > Now I'd rather have the file used as a "community profile" to look for
> > qualified people in the various area of the project; or said differently,
> > keep only applications, misc areas, communication, generic parts entries.
> >
> > I feel like this file had for mission to be used as an argument to make
> > sure people are indeed responsible for their code (as in "hey you're the
> > maintainer of X, please review my patch"). Does it work? Did it in the
> > past?
> The file serves as the foundation of "who has/should have/needs
> git write access" and who has op on IRC
> (this works and worked)
> It serves as a list of arbiters case of disagreement
> (that wasnt used much at least not litterally)
> Without a MAINTAINERs file git write access and irc op could become
> more disputable
> I do like the unwritten? rule of
> "if you maintain some code you have the last word about it"
> "if you maintain some code you have git write access"
> "if someone disagrees about someone else maintaining then he better
>  volunteers himself to do a better job"
> Now, if you look at the people who left FFmpeg over the years, i
> think in many if not most cases it involved prior conflicts with other
> developers over the area they worked on.
> so the idea of
> "if you maintain some code you have the last word about it"
> is IMO important, this doesnt strictly need a maintainers file of
> course.
> But many people work on what is fun for them, and while removing the
> file or chageing its meaning doesnt directly change that, i think we
> should be carefull to avoid creating a difference between the people
> actively working on the code and the ones being in charge about the
> code in question.

I fundamentally disagree with this. Blind blocking was one of the largest
frustrations that caused the creation of Libav. Haven't you learned
anything? I don't think we've had this situation arise for a few years, but
I certainly don't want anyone to think I'm OK with people blocking code
just because they marked a box in MAINTAINERS first. It smells like patents.

If technical arguments can't resolve a particular problem, then the problem
likely isn't technical, and one random person's opinion certainly shouldn't
be law (but a different law for each file). That's what the voting
committee is for (so that at least it's somewhat consistent across the


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