[dpdk-dev] Proposal for a new Committer model

Jerin Jacob jerin.jacob at caviumnetworks.com
Fri Nov 18 20:06:04 CET 2016

On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 01:09:35PM -0500, Neil Horman wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 09:20:50AM +0000, Mcnamara, John wrote:
> > Repost from the moving at dpdk.org mailing list to get a wider audience.
> > Original thread: http://dpdk.org/ml/archives/moving/2016-November/000059.html
> > 
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I'd like to propose a change to the DPDK committer model. Currently we have one committer for the master branch of the DPDK project. 
> > 
> > One committer to master represents a single point of failure and at times can be inefficient. There is also no agreed cover for times when the committer is unavailable such as vacation, public holidays, etc. I propose that we change to a multi-committer model for the DPDK project. We should have three committers for each release that can commit changes to the master branch.
> >  
> > There are a number of benefits:
> >  
> > 1. Greater capacity to commit patches.
> > 2. No single points of failure - a committer should always be available if we have three.
> > 3. A more timely committing of patches. More committers should equal a faster turnaround - ideally, maintainers should also provide feedback on patches submitted within a 2-3 day period, as much as possible, to facilitate this. 
> > 4. It follows best practice in creating a successful multi-vendor community - to achieve this we must ensure there is a level playing field for all participants, no single person should be required to make all of the decisions on patches to be included in the release.  
> > 
> > Having multiple committers will require some degree of co-ordination but there are a number of other communities successfully following this model such as Apache, OVS, FD.io, OpenStack etc. so the approach is workable.
> > 
> > John
> I agree that the problems you are attempting to address exist and are
> worth finding a solution for.  That said, I don't think the solution you
> are proposing is the ideal, or complete fix for any of the issues being
> addressed.
> If I may, I'd like to ennumerate the issues I think you are trying to
> address based on your comments above, then make a counter-proposal for a
> solution:
> Problems to address:
> 1) high-availability - There is a desire to make sure that, when patches
> are proposed, they are integrated in a timely fashion.
> 2) high-throughput - DPDK has a large volume of patches, more than one
> person can normally integrate.  There is a desire to shard that work such
> that it is handled by multiple individuals
> 3) Multi-Vendor fairness - There is a desire for multiple vendors to feel
> as though the project tree maintainer isn't biased toward any individual
> vendor.
> To solve these I would propose the following solution (which is simmilar
> to, but not quite identical, to yours).
> A) Further promote subtree maintainership.  This was a conversation that I
> proposed some time ago, but my proposed granularity was discarded in favor
> of something that hasn't worked as well (in my opinion).  That is to say a
> few driver pmds (i40e and fm10k come to mind) have their own tree that
> send pull requests to Thomas.  We should be sharding that at a much higher
> granularity and using it much more consistently.  That is to say, that we
> should have a maintainer for all the ethernet pmds, and another for the
> crypto pmds, another for the core eal layer, another for misc libraries
> that have low patch volumes, etc.  Each of those subdivisions should have
> their own list to communicate on, and each should have a tree that
> integrates patches for their own subsystem, and they should on a regular
> cycle send pull requests to Thomas.  Thomas in turn should by and large,
> only be integrating pull requests.  This should address our high-
> throughput issue, in that it will allow multiple maintainers to share the
> workload, and integration should be relatively easy.


> B) Designate alternates to serve as backups for the maintainer when they
> are unavailable.  This provides high-availablility, and sounds very much
> like your proposal, but in the interests of clarity, there is still a
> single maintainer at any one time, it just may change to ensure the
> continued merging of patches, if the primary maintainer isn't available.
> Ideally however, those backup alternates arent needed, because most of the
> primary maintainers work in merging pull requests, which are done based on
> the trust of the submaintainer, and done during a very limited window of
> time.  This also partially addreses multi-vendor fairness if your subtree
> maintainers come from multiple participating companies.


> Regards
> Neil

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