Xserver driver merging pros & cons

Michel Dänzer michel at daenzer.net
Mon Sep 19 07:35:01 PDT 2011

On Fre, 2011-09-16 at 23:36 +1000, Peter Hutterer wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 10:50:45AM +0200, Michel Dänzer wrote:
> > > > Speaking as a radeon driver developer, merging the driver into the
> > > > server tree would be unworkable at this point because since the "new
> > > > development model" has been in effect, it's not possible to get even
> > > > trivial changes into the server tree without a ridiculous amount of
> > > > time/effort.
> > > 
> > > Can you be more specific?  When we were discussing this yesterday, it
> > > seemed like the "new development model" was working and that it was no
> > > longer a barrier to this problem.
> > 
> > Try getting a review for a non-sexy change, e.g. in EXA. And even in
> > other areas, if it takes more time/effort to get in a bugfix than to fix
> > the bug in the first place, why should one bother? I'm only bothering
> > anymore for bugs that affect users really badly.
> > 
> > Generally there's been too many useful patches languishing indefinitely
> > due to the unrealistic process. Alex said you had slides at XDC showing
> > that the number of changes went down for each recent xserver release.
> > That matches my impression that the new process has been killing
> > momentum, instead of attracting new momentum as had been promised.
> We decided on a process because we hoped it was useful. We can change the
> process if it isn't working or not working well enough for you.
> The one thing it has achieved is timely and stable releases though this may
> also be influenced by the big rewrites having stopped after 1.7. If you have
> any ideas for how to improve the current process but keep timely releases
> and a stable X server, I'm certainly interested.

I'm afraid I don't have anything to offer but more or less going back to
the previous model (in particular, write access not restricted to a
single person per branch — certainly not to master, or feature branches
in the main repo — and reviews while encouraged (especially for complex
changes) not required for every little change).

E.g. Mesa proves that this can work well, and is much more similar to
xserver as a project than e.g. the Linux kernel is. 

Earthling Michel Dänzer           |                   http://www.amd.com
Libre software enthusiast         |          Debian, X and DRI developer

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