Getting xserver patches reviewed

pcpa at pcpa at
Sat Nov 24 07:20:22 PST 2007

Quoting Bernardo Innocenti <bernie at>:

  I am sorry if I am beating a dead horse here, but my comments...

> On 11/23/07 22:32, Daniel Stone wrote:
>> I know that personally, I review every patch on the list as best I can.
>> I know this goes for a few others though.  Some of your patches I've
>> just genuinely been shit with, but on some, I've decided that I'd like
>> to leave reviews to people who know the given area best (e.g. DRI).
> Thank you for explaining.
> I understand that the main issue with Xorg development is the
> unusually low hackers/codebase ratio, which also reduces the
> available patch reviewing bandwidth.

  The X Server also isn't as attractive, i.e. being a Kernel hacker is
usually considered cooler than being a X hacker. But if the X Server
magically becomes "mission critical" ready, lots of people would want
to have theirs names associated and start contributing, but this is very
unlikely to happen as the stability is heavily associated with fully
functional interfaces and graphics chips, that may either be buggy, or
the driver may contain bugs.

  Another problem is license (the dead horse :-) There should be a
mechanism to allow developers to contribute GPL code, other than, "do
your own new project". I did not yet finish a repository I have been
planning due to, guess what, lack of 'qualified people' time. But if
xorg/freedesktop implements something similiar, I would be happy and
submit for commit rights. One of the things I have been considering,
is something like having gpl code residing in a subtree, and then,
at build time one could choose if wants to compile with gpl code or
not. The idea is to work with symlinks. Well, nothing prevents me
from making my own mirror at Mandriva, where people here can commit
GPL licensed code, so, maybe I will come back here for a more
concrete proposal to it later, when this is more than a "wishlist",
with more than "changing my own git mirror in my own computer".

> As a curiosity, the code checked out by is roughly
> half the size of the Linux kernel, estimated brutally with LOCs:
>  $ find xserver lib proto driver mesa64 drm xcb pixman \
>    -name '*.[ch]' | xargs cat | wc -l
>  3906110
> The number of Xorg contributors can similarly be estimated
> like this:
>  $ git-log | git-shortlog -s -n | wc -l
>  158
> By comparison, the Linux kernel has roughly 3400 individual
> contributors.
> As inaccurate as these methods of forensics may be, they
> give an idea of how huge the gap is.  Clearly, the X
> maintainers deserve acknowledgment for such a remarkable
> effort.
>>> I wonder if other developers have experienced the same
>>> problem.
>> Yes, probably, to be honest.
> I see.  If there's not enough time for reviewing everyone's
> work, it is very important that nobody feels rejected or
> ignored.
> Occasional patch submissions, as small and insignificant as they
> may seem, offer a good way of attracting fresh new contributors
> to the project and improve the situation :-)
> --
> \___/
> |___|   Bernardo Innocenti -
>  \___\  One Laptop Per Child -
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