[Pixman] Giving out commit access

Pekka Paalanen ppaalanen at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 08:02:37 UTC 2018

On Tue, 12 Jun 2018 12:08:59 -0400
Søren Sandmann <soren.sandmann at gmail.com> wrote:

> The lesson for me was that most people simply could not be trusted to write
> decent pixman code, and that all patches therefore had to be carefully
> reviewed before going in.
> The result of this policy is that pixman is now remarkably bug free and
> stable compared to almost any other open source library, and that the few
> recurring contributors that pixman got are all extremely good. But the
> downside is that pixman possibly did not evolve as quickly as it could
> have. and that I eventually burned out reviewing all these patches.
> If pixman will now be turned into a free-for-all again, the risk is that it
> slowly turns back into a mountain of garbage. I don't know if that is
> better than being stable, bug free and moribund.

Hi Søren,

that is very valuable input to the discussion. I wouldn't propose to
make Pixman free for all or merge after review timeout even for chosen
developers. In my experience lack of review bandwidth is a problem.
This is the same for pretty much all projects I'm involved with.

I would hope there would appear two people with commitment to dedicate
some time for Pixman and spar each other to gain the knowledge needed
to keep Pixman bug free and stable.

Since gitlab CI is a thing, maybe a first priority would be to set up
as many different architectures to run the existing test suite as
possible. The very least there should be a single big-endian system in
that set. I have the feeling that writing and reviewing Pixman patches
is hard because of the variability in the supported architectures
coupled with low-level code.

There is a movement in gfx community to give out commit access easily,
and that is predicated by having the rules written down: how to ensure
sufficient patch quality during review, and what are the rules to give
out commit access (usually involves some sort of track record of good
quality contributions).

However, I feel that we need to bootstrap the Pixman community, because
the accessible review bandwidth is currently (well, 2-3 years ago when
I was somewhat involved) very thin. Hence the idea of two people to
avoid starvation. Maarten, are you one of them? :-)

Btw. about commit access: should we perhaps disable the "ask for
access" feature in gitlab and instead handle that through Issues so
that the discussion gets recorded?

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