[coreboot] Changes to the coreboot Project Structure

Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko phcoder at gmail.com
Fri Mar 21 04:31:22 CET 2014

On 21.03.2014 01:39, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> Hi Stefan,
> streamlining development and maintenance is definitely absoutely
> worthwhile. Getting rid of unmaintained code is also a good thing. The
> guidelines presented in your mail look mostly good IMHO, but I'd like to
> comment on a few things.
> Am 20.03.2014 22:55 schrieb Stefan Reinauer:
>> * Significantly reduce number of submitters
>>   To ensure consistency, scalability and conformity with the general
>>   coreboot strategy, we need to define a clear committer structure that
>>   defines the original project structure of having a benevolent dictator
>>   aka project leader (Stefan Reinauer) and gatekeepers in place. The
>>   suggested structure will need to value both community interests and
>>   corporate interests equally and hence a good setup would be to have a
>>   final amount of six developers with submit rights, three community
>>   representatives and three corporate representatives (on from each major
>>   stakeholder):
> I see a huge bottleneck in restricting the number of committers to six.
> - Corporate committers will be primarily obliged to get the stuff of
> their own employer committed, but if they are ill or on vacation,
> someone else would have to take over. This would either be another
> corporate committer (in which case their own employer would have to
> authorize spending time for a different company) or a community committer.
> - Community committers are not paid, and commit in their spare time.
> Spare time is not necessarily abundant all year round. Speaking from
> experience, the flashrom project has no shortage in developers or
> submitted patches, but a real and painful shortage in
> reviewers/committers. The flashrom project patch backlog is huge due to
> this. Doing a commit is easy, but making sure that a commit follows
> certain guidelines is a huge time sink with none of the fun of writing code.
> - New contributors (corporate or community) would have to find a
> "sponsor" to actually commit their code. With a large committer base,
> this can happen rather quickly. With only six committers facing their
> own deadlines or other shortages of time, this could take quite a while.
The proposition of gatekeepers would essentially kill community effort.
Even in current infrastructure reviewing is a major slowdown. With small
number of gatekeepers there wouldn't be any significant contributions as
the gatekeepers wouldn't be able to review them in reasonable time,
which will, in turn discourage contributions. You may as well just stop
accepting community contributions right now: it turns out to be the same
thing, just a little bit quicker.
You cannot treat community as some kind of corporate entity.
>>   Peter Stuge, Kyösti Mälkki, N.N. (non-commercial part of the
>>   coreboot community)
Sounds like a joke. While Peter is competent, he's also very busy. I'd
expect his review thoughtput of perhaps a patch a week.
You can't realistically put such burden on few people.
If you want a corporate version of coreboot, I think you have to use a
workflow similar to Fedora vs Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
The changes you proposed would effectively make coreboot into corporate
project. I'd expect a community fork to emerge quickly, outside of this
new limiting infrastructure and I'll be surely moving to community fork.

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