[Pixman] Is Pixman being maintained at all?

Pekka Paalanen ppaalanen at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 02:26:00 PDT 2015

On Wed, 1 Apr 2015 18:46:10 -0700
Matt Turner <mattst88 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 10:58 AM, Bill Spitzak <spitzak at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 03/30/2015 10:25 AM, Matt Turner wrote:
> >
> >> Do you just need someone to push them?
> >>
> >> I'm not capable of reviewing these.
> >>
> >> Since Søren isn't really maintaining pixman anymore I'm not really
> >> sure how to proceed.
> >
> >
> > Is this true?
> I don't see anyone but Pekka reviewing patches and there hasn't been a
> release in 15 months, so yeah.
> > I think something needs to be done about this as all new work on X and Cairo
> > is depending on pixman.
> I mean, sure.
> > I have had an outstanding patch set for 8 months now. Søren responded to an
> > earlier version and I tried to address it but have not heard anything since.
> > This is very frustrating as I would like to work on this but I'm not going
> > to do it if it is useless.
> As far as I know, Søren isn't working at Redhat any more, so I don't
> think you can expect him to continue maintaining pixman.


Søren, Matt, Siarhei,

how can we get the Pixman maintenance communitized? Maybe a la
libdrm, because no-one has the resources to become a dedicated

What does it take to get push and release authorization, in the
political sense that Pixman quality would not degrade and the
current/old maintainers would approve?
What kind of review policies should be enforced?

What development guidelines should there be? Should it be strictly no
new API/ABI nor features, only performance work and new platform
support like the latest new ARM?

If there is one person contributing arch or cpu-specific optimizations
in assembly that no-one is willing to review apart from the scope of
code changes and style, should we trust that one person and just land
his work if he shows the performance numbers are good?

I mean, I'm a newbie here. I don't want to hijack this project and push
it only to my own directions, also because I cannot become a dedicated
maintainer, nor promise to review anyone else's stuff. But, there are
patches I'd like to see landed. I could work on them with Ben, but if
there is no-one "upstream" to tell us what goes and what doesn't, we
are left to our own judgement. Would you trust my and Ben's judgement
so that I could land Ben's patches and make Pixman releases?

You probably don't have a good understanding about how I work and what
kind of a developer I am, nor have that kind of trust in me. That is
fine. We need time to build that trust through discussion and patches.
But it's hard to have a discussion if no-one can reply. I also
understand that because I will not promise to be a maintainer, there is
less incentive in educating me. It is quite likely that I hang around
here for a while and then wander off when my needs are filled.

The same goes for everyone, I believe.

What could we do to let Pixman go forward?

I suppose a project in a similar state would just get forked by some
new people, who will then drive it with their own goals. Except here
that doesn't work, because the fork would soon fall into the same state
as the original project, except the world would just be more
fragmented. Couldn't we as well just loosen up on the master branch and
let stuff land whenever someone is active and someone else doesn't see
anything bad in it? There are always the stable branches, too, for
those who want to stick to old and well-tested code.

Yes, the software quality will likely degrade somewhat, at least from
the old maintainers' perspective. However, the alternative seems to be a
completely stalled project. Which one is better?

FWIW, distros (well, Raspbian at least) already maintain their own
forks, most likely as a single-person project. At upstream we could at
least aim for a different person to review a change than the one who
wrote it. For distribution users, that should be a win, along with
gathering development into one place.

Am I asking for your approval to get push rights to Pixman upstream?
Hmm, I suppose I am. At least that would make me personally responsible
for the stuff I push, without having to piggyback on someone else who
might then fear getting unjustified blame.

I will certainly reserve the right to say: "No, I won't push that,
because I can't tell if it is good for Pixman or not."


More information about the Pixman mailing list