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Date:   Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:14:15 -0700
From:   Alexei Starovoitov <>
To:     Andrii Nakryiko <>
Cc:     bpf <>,
        Network Development <>,
        Daniel Borkmann <>,
        "David S. Miller" <>,
        Kernel Team <>
Subject: Re: Keep bpf-next always open

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 02:48:24PM -0700, Andrii Nakryiko wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 2:20 PM Alexei Starovoitov
> <> wrote:
> >
> > BPF developers,
> >
> > The merge window is 1.5 weeks away or 2.5 weeks if rc8 happens. In the past we
> > observed a rush of patches to get in before bpf-next closes for the duration of
> > the merge window. Then there is a flood of patches right after bpf-next
> > reopens. Both periods create unnecessary tension for developers and maintainers.
> > In order to mitigate these issues we're planning to keep bpf-next open
> > during upcoming merge window and if this experiment works out we will keep
> > doing it in the future. The problem that bpf-next cannot be fully open, since
> > during the merge window lots of trees get pulled by Linus with inevitable bugs
> > and conflicts. The merge window is the time to fix bugs that got exposed
> > because of merges and because more people test torvalds/linux.git than
> > bpf/bpf-next.git.
> >
> > Hence starting roughly one week before the merge window few risky patches will
> > be applied to the 'next' branch in the bpf-next tree instead of
> Riskiness would be up to maintainers to determine or should we mark
> patches with a different tag (bpf-next-next?) explicitly?

"Risky" in a sense of needing a revert. The bpf tree and two plus -rc1 to -rc7
weeks should be enough to address any issues except the most fundamental ones.
Something like the recent bpf_tail_call support in subprograms I would consider
for the "next" branch if it was posted a day before the merge window.
In practice, I suspect, such cases will be rare.

I think bpf-next-next tag should not be used. All features are for [bpf-next].
Fixes are for [bpf]. The bpf-next/next is a temporary parking place for patches
while the merge window is ongoing.

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