[Ksummit-2012-discuss] [ATTEND] stable kernel stuff and grumpy maintainers

James Bottomley James.Bottomley at HansenPartnership.com
Tue Jun 19 15:16:14 UTC 2012

On Tue, 2012-06-19 at 11:06 -0400, Steven Rostedt wrote:
> On Tue, 2012-06-19 at 10:46 -0400, Ted Ts'o wrote:
> > Part of the problem is that for some of the contributors, English
> > isn't their first language.  I've very often had to rewrite the change
> > log for that reason; in some cases, it was so mangled that even though
> > it was a paragraph full of text, I couldn't parse it at all, and I had
> > to send back a "huh?  Is this what you meant?" message.
> There has been many times that I have had issues with language and had
> to fully rewrite change logs myself. That, I believe is the maintainer's
> responsibility, and this is not what I'm really talking about. Although,
> a maintainer needs to push back and get a better change log, even if
> they need to be the one to rewrite it.
> Note, usually I don't need to ask "is this what you meant" because as
> the expert in the code being submitted to me, I can deduce from the
> patch itself what is going on. This is how I determine if I am willing
> to take the patch or not. If I know the person submitting the patch has
> issues with the language, I look at the patch, it becomes obvious what
> the change is for, and then I rewrite the change log to explain in
> detail what the patch was about. So far no one has complained about me
> doing this. I do not, however, modify the patch itself, except for very
> small changes, and if I do that, I add to the change log explaining the
> change I made, no matter how little the change was.

OK, so here's the direct counter example:


Notice that in email number three, I tried to suggest what I thought the
actual bug might be, but I still got nowhere.

I think this bug is minor to unnoticeable so I've kept the patch out of
the tree pending a coherent rewrite of the change log, just to make the
point ... that was three months ago; I'm still waiting ...  As a
Maintainer, you just can't do that for important feature enhancements or
bug fixes.


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