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From: Amir Goldstein <>
To: "Darrick J. Wong" <>
	linux-fsdevel <>,
	xfs <>, Eryu Guan <>,
	Eric Sandeen <>
Subject: Re: [Lsf-pc] [LSF/MM/BPF TOPIC] FS Maintainers Don't Scale
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 09:30:02 +0200
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20200131052520.GC6869@magnolia>

On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 7:25 AM Darrick J. Wong <> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I would like to discuss how to improve the process of shepherding code
> into the kernel to make it more enjoyable for maintainers, reviewers,
> and code authors.  Here is a brief summary of how we got here:
> Years ago, XFS had one maintainer tending to all four key git repos
> (kernel, userspace, documentation, testing).  Like most subsystems, the
> maintainer did a lot of review and porting code between the kernel and
> userspace, though with help from others.
> It turns out that this didn't scale very well, so we split the
> responsibilities into three maintainers.  Like most subsystems, the
> maintainers still did a lot of review and porting work, though with help
> from others.
> 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.
> So what do we do about this?  I think we (the XFS project, anyway)
> should increase the amount of organizing in our review process.  For
> large patchsets, I would like to improve informal communication about
> who the author might like to have conduct a review, who might be
> interested in conducting a review, estimates of how much time a reviewer
> has to spend on a patchset, and of course, feedback about how it went.
> This of course is to lay the groundwork for making a case to our bosses
> for growing our community, allocating time for reviews and for growing
> our skills as reviewers.


Eryu usually posts a weekly status of xfstests review queue, often with
a call for reviewers, sometimes with specific patch series mentioned.
That helps me as a developer to monitor the status of my own work
and it helps me as a reviewer to put the efforts where the maintainer
needs me the most.

For xfs kernel patches, I can represent the voice of "new blood".
Getting new people to join the review effort is quite a hard barrier.
I have taken a few stabs at doing review for xfs patch series over the
year, but it mostly ends up feeling like it helped me (get to know xfs code
better) more than it helped the maintainer, because the chances of a
new reviewer to catch meaningful bugs are very low and if another reviewer
is going to go over the same patch series, the chances of new reviewer to
catch bugs that novice reviewer will not catch are extremely low.

However, there are quite a few cleanup and refactoring patch series,
especially on the xfs list, where a review from an "outsider" could still
be of value to the xfs community. OTOH, for xfs maintainer, those are
the easy patches to review, so is there a gain in offloading those reviews?

Bottom line - a report of the subsystem review queue status, call for
reviewers and highlighting specific areas in need of review is a good idea.
Developers responding to that report publicly with availability for review,
intention and expected time frame for taking on a review would be helpful
for both maintainers and potential reviewers.


> ---
> I want to spend the time between right now and whenever this discussion
> happens to make a list of everything that works and that could be made
> better about our development process.
> I want to spend five minutes at the start of the discussion to
> acknowledge everyone's feelings around that list that we will have
> compiled.
> Then I want to spend the rest of the session breaking up the problems
> into small enough pieces to solve, discussing solutions to those
> problems, and (ideally) pushing towards a consensus on what series of
> small adjustments we can make to arrive at something that works better
> for everyone.
> --D
> _______________________________________________
> Lsf-pc mailing list

  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 ` Amir Goldstein [this message]
2020-02-01  3:20   ` [Lsf-pc] " 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
2020-02-13  1:23     ` Dave Chinner

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