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From: "Darrick J. Wong" <>
To: Matthew Wilcox <>
	xfs <>,
	Eric Sandeen <>, Eryu Guan <>
Subject: Re: [LSF/MM/BPF TOPIC] FS Maintainers Don't Scale
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 14:21:18 -0800
Message-ID: <20200212222118.GT6870@magnolia> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Fri, Feb 07, 2020 at 02:03:33PM -0800, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 09:25:20PM -0800, Darrick J. Wong wrote:
> > It turns out that this system doesn't scale very well either.  Even with
> > three maintainers sharing access to the git trees and working together
> > to get reviews done, mailing list traffic has been trending upwards for
> > years, and we still can't keep up.  I fear that many maintainers are
> > burning out.  For XFS, the biggest pain point (AFAICT) is not assembly and
> > testing of the git trees, but keeping up with the mail and the reviews.
> I think the LSFMMBPF conference is part of the problem.  With the best of
> intentions, we have set up a system which serves to keep all but the most
> dedicated from having a voice at the premier conference for filesystems,
> memory management, storage (and now networking).  It wasn't intended to
> be that way, but that's what has happened, and it isn't serving us well
> as a result.

Yeah... I gather that we now have BPF because it ties in with networking
and we added networking because it ties in with mm, but ... frankly I'd
like to be able to include a broader selection of people from each
community even if that rsults either in a larger event or splitting
things up again.

> Three anecdotes.  First, look at Jason's mail from earlier today:
> There are 11 people on that list, plus Jason, plus three more than I
> recommended.  That's 15, just for that one topic.  I think maybe half
> of those people will get an invite anyway, but adding on an extra 5-10
> people for (what I think is) a critically important topic at the very
> nexus of storage, filesystems, memory management, networking and graphics
> is almost certainly out of bounds for the scale of the current conference.
> Second, I've had Outreachy students who have made meaningful contributions
> to the kernel.  Part of their bursary is a travel grant to go to a
> conference and they were excited to come to LSFMM.  I've had to tell
> them "this conference is invite-only for the top maintainers; you can't
> come".  They ended up going to an Open Source Summit conference instead.
> By excluding the people who are starting out, we are failing to grow
> our community.


> I don't think it would have hurt for them to be in the room; they were
> unlikely to speak, and perhaps they would have gone on to make larger
> contributions.

Agree.  I've met all the Big Names, but I've never met most of the
people who are not full time contributors, and I've been attending LSFMM
for years.

> Third, I hear from people who work on a specific filesystem "Of the
> twenty or so slots for the FS part of the conference, there are about
> half a dozen generic filesystem people who'll get an invite, then maybe
> six filesystems who'll get two slots each, but what we really want to
> do is get everybody working on this filesystem in a room and go over
> our particular problem areas".

Yes!  One thousand times yes!  The best value I've gotten from LSF has
been the in-person interlocks with the XFS/ext4/btrfs developers, even
if the thing we discuss in the hallway BOFs have not really been
"cross-subsystem topics".

> This kills me because LSFMM has been such a critically important part of
> Linux development for over a decade, but I think at this point it is at
> least not serving us the way we want it to, and may even be doing more
> harm than good.

I don't think I'd go quite that far, but it's definitely underserving
the people who can't get in, the people who can't go, and the people who
are too far away but gosh it would be nice to pull them in even if it's
only for 30 minutes over a conference call.

> I think it needs to change, and more people need to
> be welcomed to the conference.  Maybe it needs to not be invite-only.
> Maybe it can stay invite-only, but be twice as large.  Maybe everybody
> who's coming needs to front $100 to put towards the costs of a larger
> meeting space with more rooms.
> Not achievable for this year, I'm sure, but if we start talking now
> maybe we can have a better conference in 2021.



  parent reply index

Thread overview: 27+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-01-31  5:25 Darrick J. Wong
2020-01-31  7:30 ` [Lsf-pc] " Amir Goldstein
2020-02-01  3:20   ` Allison Collins
2020-02-02 21:46     ` Dave Chinner
2020-02-09 17:12       ` Allison Collins
2020-02-12  0:21         ` NeilBrown
2020-02-12  6:58           ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-12 22:06         ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-12 22:19           ` Dan Williams
2020-02-12 22:36             ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-13 15:11           ` Brian Foster
2020-02-13 15:46             ` Matthew Wilcox
2020-02-16 21:55               ` Dave Chinner
2020-02-19  0:29                 ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-19  1:17                   ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2020-02-12 23:39         ` Dave Chinner
2020-02-13 15:19           ` Brian Foster
2020-02-17  0:11             ` Dave Chinner
2020-02-17 15:01               ` Brian Foster
2020-02-12 21:36       ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-12 22:42   ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-13 10:21     ` Amir Goldstein
2020-02-07 22:03 ` Matthew Wilcox
2020-02-12  3:51   ` Theodore Y. Ts'o
2020-02-12 22:29     ` Darrick J. Wong
2020-02-12 22:21   ` Darrick J. Wong [this message]
2020-02-13  1:23     ` Dave Chinner

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