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@ 2020-03-07  3:14 ` Steve French
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From: Steve French @ 2020-03-07  3:14 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Josef Bacik
  Cc: lsf-pc, Linux FS Devel, linux-mm, linux-xfs, Btrfs BTRFS, bpf,
	linux-ext4, linux-block, CIFS

Don't forget about Vault - there were some very useful hallway
discussions at Vault this year as well ... even if a bit smaller than
it should be ...

On Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 8:36 AM Josef Bacik <> wrote:
> Hello,
> This has been a topic that I've been thinking about a lot recently, mostly
> because of the giant amount of work that has been organizing LSFMMBPF.  I was
> going to wait until afterwards to bring it up, hoping that maybe it was just me
> being done with the whole process and that time would give me a different
> perspective, but recent discussions has made it clear I'm not the only one.
> LSFMMBPF is not useful to me personally, and not an optimal use of the
> communities time.  The things that we want to get out of LSFMMBPF are (generally)
> 1) Reach consensus on any multi-subsystem contentious changes that have come up
> over the past year.
> 2) Inform our fellow developers of new things that we are working on that we
> would like help with, or need to think about for the upcoming year.
> 3) "Hallway track".  We are after all a community, and I for one like spending
> time with developers that I don't get to interact with on a daily basis.
> 4) Provide a way to help integrate new developers into the community with face
> time.  It is far easier to work with people once you can put a face to a name,
> and this is especially valuable for new developers.
> These are all really good goals, and why we love the idea of LSFMMBPF.  But
> having attended these things every year for the last 13 years, it has become
> less and less of these things, at least from my perspective.  A few problems (as
> I see them) are
> 1) The invitation process.  We've tried many different things, and I think we
> generally do a good job here, but the fact is if I don't know somebody I'm not
> going to give them a very high rating, making it difficult to actually bring in
> new people.
> 2) There are so many of us.  Especially with the addition of the BPF crowd we
> are now larger than ever.  This makes problem #1 even more apparent, even if I
> weighted some of the new people higher who's slot should they take instead?  I
> have 0 problems finding 20 people in the FS community who should absolutely be
> in the room.  But now I'm trying to squeeze in 1-5 extra people.  Propagate that
> across all the tracks and now we're at an extra 20ish people.
> 3) Half the people I want to talk to aren't even in the room.  This may be a
> uniquely file system track problem, but most of my work is in btrfs, and I want
> to talk to my fellow btrfs developers.  But again, we're trying to invite an
> entire community, so many of them simply don't request invitations, or just
> don't get invited.
> 3) Sponsorships.  This is still the best way to get to all of the core
> developers, so we're getting more and more sponsors in order to buy their slots
> to get access to people.  This is working as intended, and I'm not putting down
> our awesome sponsors, but this again adds to the amount of people that are
> showing up at what is supposed to be a working conference.
> 4) Presentations.  90% of the conference is 1-2 people standing at the front of
> the room, talking to a room of 20-100 people, with only a few people in the
> audience who cares.  We do our best to curate the presentations so we're not
> wasting peoples time, but in the end I don't care what David Howells is doing
> with mount, I trust him to do the right thing and he really just needs to trap
> Viro in a room to work it out, he doesn't need all of us.
> 5) Actually planning this thing.  I have been on the PC for at least the last 5
> years, and this year I'm running the whole thing.  We specifically laid out
> plans to rotate in new blood so this sort of thing stopped happening, and this
> year we've done a good job of that.  However it is a giant amount of work for
> anybody involved, especially for the whole conference chair.  Add in something
> like COVID-19 to the mix and now I just want to burn the whole thing to the
> ground.  Planning this thing is not free, it does require work and effort.
> So what do I propose?  I propose we kill LSFMMBPF.
> Many people have suggested this elsewhere, but I think we really need to
> seriously consider it.  Most of us all go to the Linux Plumbers conference.  We
> could accomplish our main goals with Plumbers without having to deal with all of
> the above problems.
> 1) The invitation process.  This goes away.  The people/companies that want to
> discuss things with the rest of us can all get to plumbers the normal way.  We
> get new blood that we may miss through the invitation process because they can
> simply register for Plumbers on their own.
> 2) Presentations.  We can have track miniconfs where we still curate talks, but
> there could be much less of them and we could just use the time to do what
> LSFMMBPF was meant to do, put us all in a room so we can hack on things together.
> 3) BOFs.  Now all of the xfs/btrfs/ext4 guys can show up, because again they
> don't have to worry about some invitation process, and now real meetings can
> happen between people that really want to talk to each other face to face.
> 4) Planning becomes much simpler.  I've organized miniconf's at plumbers before,
> it is far simpler than LSFMMBPF.  You only have to worry about one thing, is
> this presentation useful.  I no longer have to worry about am I inviting the
> right people, do we have enough money to cover the space.  Is there enough space
> for everybody?  Etc.
> I think this is worth a discussion at the very least.  Maybe killing LSFMMBPF is
> too drastic, maybe there are some other ideas that would address the same
> problems.  I'd love to hear the whole communities thoughts on this, because
> after all this is supposed to be a community event, and we should all be heard.
> Thanks,



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