Xserver driver merging pros & cons

Stéphane Marchesin stephane.marchesin at gmail.com
Fri Sep 16 13:10:04 PDT 2011

2011/9/16 Jeremy Huddleston <jeremyhu at apple.com>:
> On Sep 16, 2011, at 12:45 PM, Stéphane Marchesin wrote:
>> Well, the issue is not separate. Driver repos are straightforward to
>> get changes in and therefore can move forward easily.
> How would that be different from an xorg-server tree with the exact same privileges?  I don't see any difference as far as individual contributors are concerned.
>> For xserver changes, with the amount of latency/difficulty involved, people don't
>> even try.
> Can you be specific?  What latency are you talking about?
> 1) Is it latency getting a [PULL] or a ready [PATCH] applied?  Perhaps we can address that.

The difficulty of getting reviews, the difficulty to attract attention
to a patch and then get it pulled by someone who doesn't understand

> 2) Is the latency involved due to missing reviews?  We need more people to step up and actually review.  Yes, this is a problem which we need to discuss.

Extending a model which is currently not working won't fix the model.
I would say we need to fix the model first, then if that flies we can
merge the drivers back. I haven't seen proof of the former happening
so I cannot defend the latter.

> 3) Is the latency involved due to reviews which come back with comments rather than Reviewed-by: tags that developer is lazy in responding to and thus don't bother because "my patch is good enough for me, why should I change it to appease reviewer X".  If this is the case, I think it's good that the patch wasn't committed but bad that it dropped on the floor.  Yes, I understand that it can feel like a waste of time to go back and edit a commit to respond to a reviewed, but doing so will make your commit BETTER and possibly prevent regression.

Well, who will review driver code? Only people who contributed to that
driver before, and in that case you might as well just keep the
current model. My point is, for drivers, that review system will slow
things down (because you need to wait for a pull from someone who has
no familiarity with your code), and will not generate more relevant
reviews (because the relevant reviewers are already working on the
driver anyway).

> WRT driver contributors specifically:
> There is nothing preventing the drivers from having their own xorg-server tree with the same commit privileges that currently exist for the drivers.  Everyone developing drivers will continue to push to that, and periodically, it will merge into master or a stable branch as appropriate (and the result will be merged back into it).  Individual contributors don't need to worry.  The owner/maintainer of the driver just needs to email the release manager with a [PULL] request every few weeks.

It's the theoretical model of the current xserver, and as shown in
this thread it has slowed down changes tremendously since we rely on a
few overloaded individuals for reviews/merges. I don't see how that
would work better once you add drivers to that workload. Until we see
that model working as well as what we have previously, I don't think
we should use it for more code.


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