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Date:   Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:28:03 +1100
From:   NeilBrown <>
To:     Al Viro <>
Cc:     Josh Triplett <>,
        Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
        linux-kernel <>,
        Linus Torvalds <>,,
        Mishi Choudhary <>
Subject: Re: [Ksummit-discuss] Call to Action Re: [PATCH 0/7] Code of Conduct: Fix some wording, and add an interpretation document

On Tue, Oct 23 2018, Al Viro wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 03:25:08PM +1100, NeilBrown wrote:
>> >> If Linus is not true to his new-found sensitivity, we might need someone
>> >> (Greg?) to be a co-maintainer, able to accept patches when Linus has a
>> >> relapse.  It might be good form to create this channel anyway, but I
>> >> doubt it would be needed in practice.
>> >> 
>> >> So there you have it. The "Code" is upside down.
>> >> We need documents which:
>> >>   - curtail the power of the strong, starting with Linus
>> >>   - are adopted willingly by individuals, not imposed on the community.
>> >>   - provide alternate routes for patch-flow, so that no-one has ultimate
>> >>     power.
>> >
>> > Really?  The ultimate power being to say "No" to a patch, and nobody should
>> > have such?  Are you fucking serious?
>> I have noticed of late a tendency in all sorts of different people to
>> hear/read a statement from someone they know, interpret it a particular
>> way, be surprised about that interpretation, and persist with believing
>> that interpretation anyway, rather than realizing that the most likely
>> explanation is a communication failure, and asking for clarification.
>> The "ultimate power" is the ability to say "no" to a patch, *with no
>> opportunity for review*.  Two people together having that ultimate power
>> is a totally different thing to one person having it alone.
> If that's a clarification, I'm sorry to say that I understand you even less now.
> What are you proposing?  Duopoly?  How do you deal with disagreements?  Fork?
> Revert wars?

We already have team-maintainership arrangements - doing the same thing
at the top level should not be that hard to imagine.

It really about "saying" no.  I suspect all members of a team would come
to much the same decision about any given patch, but they might "say" it
differently.  One might say "anyone who wrote this should be
lobotomised", and the other might say "I see what you are trying to do,
but the approach won't work - go look at how we handle XXXX, they have a
similar problem".  Neither will accept the patch, and they will probably
both accept it after certain changes.  But when one of them is having a
bad day, I would like people to have the explicit opportunity to ignore
them and talk to the other.  Yes, they'll still get "no" twice, but they'll
also get something approaching sane review least once.

Just knowing that the person you are ranting at can by-pass you would, I
suspect, encourage a lot of people to reconsider their behavior (though
maybe I'm optomistic there).


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