Re: [PATCH] MAINTAINERS: Start using the 'reviewer' (R) tag

From: Lee Jones
Date: Wed Oct 28 2015 - 04:31:40 EST

On Tue, 2015-10-27 at 18:15 +0000, Lee Jones wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Oct 2015, Sebastian Reichel wrote:
> > On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 03:42:37PM +0000, Lee Jones wrote:
> > > Since eafbaac ("MAINTAINERS: Add "R:" designated-reviewers tag") we
> > > have been able to tag specific people as Reviewers. These are key
> > > individuals who are tasked with or volunteer to review code submitted
> > > to a subsystem or specific file. However, according to MAINTAINERS
> > > we have 1046 Maintainers and only a mere 22 Reviewers. I believe
> > > these numbers to be incorrect, as many of these Maintainers are in
> > > fact Reviewers.

Most entries in MAINTAINERS seem to be vanity entries than actual
active participants. A person typically writes a driver, adds a
MAINTAINER entry, then forgets about it and/or the hardware becomes

This I agree with.

On Wed, 28 Oct 2015, Krzysztof Kozlowski wrote:
> 2015-10-28 3:44 GMT+09:00 Joe Perches <joe@xxxxxxxxxxx>:
> > On Tue, 2015-10-27 at 18:15 +0000, Lee Jones wrote:
> > > On Tue, 27 Oct 2015, Sebastian Reichel wrote:> >
> > > > I think you should CC the people, which are changed from "M:" to
> > > > "R:", though.
> > >
> > > Yes, makes sense.
> > >
> > > I'd like to collect some Maintainer Acks first though.
> >
> > I think people from organizations like Samsung are actual
> > maintainers not reviewers.

So this all hinges on how we are describing Maintainers and Reviewers.

My personal definition (until convinced otherwise) is that Reviewers
care about their particular subsystem and/or files. They conduct code
reviews to ensure nothing gets broken and the code base stays in best
possible state of worthiness. On the other hand Maintainers usually
conduct themselves as Reviewers but also have 'maintainership' duties
as well; such as applying patches, *maintaining*, testing, rebasing,
etc, an upstream branch and ultimately sending pull-requests to higher
level Maintainers i.e. Linus. Maintainers also have the ultimate say
(unless over-ruled by Linus etc) over what gets applied.

> > Their drivers are not thrown over a wall and forgotten.
> At least for Samsung Multifunction PMIC drivers (and some of Maxim
> MUICs and PMICs) these are actively used by us in existing and new
> products. They are also continuously extended and actually maintained.
> This means that it is not only about review of new patches but also
> about caring that nothing will become broken.

Exactly. This what I expect of any good code Reviewer.

> I would prefer to leave the "SAMSUNG MULTIFUNCTION PMIC DEVICE
> DRIVERS" entry as is - maintainers.

But you aren't maintaining the driver i.e. you don't collect patches
and *maintain* them on an upstream branch. Granted some of you guys
are doing a great job of maintaining branches on your downstream or
BSP kernels, but conduct a Reviewer type role for upstream.

You guys are pushing back like this is some kind of demotion. That's
not the case at all. All it does is better describe the (very worthy)
function you *actually* provide.

Lee Jones
Linaro STMicroelectronics Landing Team Lead â Open source software for ARM SoCs
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