[FFmpeg-devel] Policy on ffmpeg-devel list and contributions [was: Re: [PATCH] Refactor Developer Docs, update dev list section (v2)]

Jim DeLaHunt from.ffmpeg-dev at jdlh.com
Sun Nov 26 23:44:34 EET 2017

On 2017-11-26 03:42, Carl Eugen Hoyos wrote:
> 2017-11-26 9:31 GMT+01:00 Jim DeLaHunt <from.ffmpeg-dev at jdlh.com>:
>> - at subsection Documentation/Other
>> + at section Documentation/Other
>> + at subheading Subscribe to the ffmpeg-devel mailing list.
>> +It is important to be subscribed to the
> Of course it is important but I would much, much prefer
> if people send their patches without being subscribed
> than not sending their patches because it is implied
> that they cannot send patches if they don't want to
> subscribe....
> But if people are not interested in improving their contribution,
> I would still prefer the patches to be sent.

So, how realistic is this concern about non-subscribers sending patches 
to ffmpeg-devel?  Does it actually happen? Can you point to, say, three 
patches in the last six months which were sent by non-subscribers to 
ffmpeg-devel and were applied to the code base?

Given how so many of the patches submitted by subscribers who know the 
unwritten rules are subjected to veto and revision, I would be surprised 
if many non-subscribers who are ignorant of the unwritten rules would 
produce something satisfactory.

That said, would your concern be addressed if I were to add this sentence:

    However, it is more important to the project that we receive your
    patch than that you be subscribed to the ffmpeg-devel list. If you
    have a patch, and don't want to subscribe and discuss the patch,
    then please do send it to the list.

(I am tempted to add a phrase like, "If you want to send your patch to 
ffmpeg-devel without discussion, as if  abandoning your baby on the 
steps of the orphanage, please do; one of the kind caregivers on the 
list may pick it up and find it a good home."  But this is probably too 
snarky to be appropriate.)

>> + at uref{https://lists.ffmpeg.org/mailman/listinfo/ffmpeg-devel, ffmpeg-devel}
>> +mailing list, because any patch you contribute must be sent there
> No:
> I believe it is very important that trivial patches are not sent
> to the development mailing list - its volume is already so big
> that some patches are sadly (!) forgotten.
Tell me more about the procedure for trivial patches. I have not seen 
this documented, and I don't know about it. Does this apply to 
occasional contributors, or only to trusted experienced ffmpeg project 
members with commit privileges to the repository?

The proposed text does not distinguish between occasional contributors 
and experienced project members. Maybe it should. I believe that the 
main audience of `doc/developer.html` is new and occasional 
contributors, because the experienced members will have internalised all 
the undocumented norms, and won't be referring to this page.

What revised wording do you propose for the above phrase "any patch you 
contribute must be sent there"?

>> +Also, this list is where bugs and possible improvements or
> I believe this is misleading or even wrong.
Oh?  I took this wording from the existing 
<http://ffmpeg.org/developer.html#Documentation_002fOther> regarding the 
ffmpeg-cvslog list:
"Bugs and possible improvements or general questions regarding commits 
are discussed there."
What is misleading or wrong about this wording? What is your objection?

What alternate wording would you propose for this sentence, which 
describes why contributors should pay attention to the content of 
>> +general questions regarding commits are discussed. That may be helpful
>> +information as you write your contribution. Finally, by being a list
>> +subscriber your contribution will be posted immediately to the list,
>> +without the moderation hold which messages from non-subscribers experience.
>> +


I think what is important about this new section is that it describes 
the policy and importance of the ffmpeg-devel list. It's interesting 
that the project had not put this into words in the current 
documentation. I'm trying to do that.  Carl Eugen, you are quick to 
object to what you don't like about proposed wording. I think it's 
especially important that you suggest wording that does capture what you 
do support. You obviously care.

Best regards,
      —Jim DeLaHunt

     --Jim DeLaHunt, jdlh at jdlh.com     http://blog.jdlh.com/ (http://jdlh.com/)
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