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Re: [maint] GDB needs more local maintainers

On Wed, Feb 26, 2003 at 12:03:49PM -0500, Andrew Cagney wrote:
> David, I wish it were this simple.
> At one point, in the deep dark past the `solution' adopted was to `throw 
> more maintainers at the problem'.  If you think this is starting to 
> sound like `throwing more programmers at the problem' then it is :-(
> One thing that has changed since then is for for developers to recognize 
> that that while they might have a short (weeks) to medium (months) term 
> interest in a specific aspect of GDB, they don't have the level of 
> commitment needed to maintain that body of code.
> This is why the maintainers file contains things like: send tricky ones 
> to person XXX; or person XXX can make changes.  While XXX can take 
> certain liberties it is clear that `the buck' doesn't stop with them.  A 
> more senior maintainer is free to approve/make changes.  I would be 
> wasting my time if I try to chase after them with a patch.
> This is also why I try to encourage developers (remember I also act in 
> that role) to discuss / negotiate technical issues up front.  That way 
> they can be largly pre-approved.  Such `fairly obvious' change can 
> (especially when the issues have been trialed on a branch, but with the 
> help of a global maintainer and 100% public) then be committed using a 
> 24-48hr rolling schedule (but with with definite timeouts so that 
> everyone has a chance to clean up the fallout - cf the interps patch).
> Finally, this is also why it is important for maintainers to recognize 
> that it is some times time to let go and move on.  Perhaphs dropping 
> certain areas of responsibility (and picking others up).  (On this last 
> point, it is good to see that all the maintainers are currently doing this.)


I'm throwing the buck back at you, as the project administrator.  Could
you answer a couple of questions for me?

- Do you think that we have a problem in this area?

    I do, as should be obvious.  He may be annoyed at me for bringing
   it up, but at least one of our friends at Apple does - they say it's
   impacting their contributions back.  At least three of the seven
   global maintainers who responded to my last thread about this issue
   (not counting myself) also clearly agreed.

- What do you suggest we do about it, given your strong negative
  reactions to David's suggestion and my suggestion?

So far, the response has been for several people to drop
responsibilities.  In at least some of those cases an area with a small
number of maintainers went to an even smaller number of maintainers,
instead of floating back into the "global" space.  How do you think
that helps anything?

Being adversarial about this isn't my idea of a good time, but I don't
feel that I'm making headway any other way.

[Yes, I dropped the buck on responding to a few previous messages in
the "maintenance process" thread; but so did just about everyone else. 
That's the beautiful/terrible thing about tree thread structures;
hundreds of people can all have the last word.]

Daniel Jacobowitz
MontaVista Software                         Debian GNU/Linux Developer

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