[PATCH] MAINTAINERS: Start using the 'reviewer' (R) tag

Lee Jones lee.jones at linaro.org
Wed Oct 28 04:39:32 PDT 2015

On Wed, 28 Oct 2015, Javier Martinez Canillas wrote:

> Hello Joe,
> On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM, Joe Perches <joe at perches.com> wrote:
> > On Wed, 2015-10-28 at 11:53 +0100, Javier Martinez Canillas wrote:
> >> (Lee) think(s) that the difference between a maintainer and
> >> a reviewer is if a branch with fixes / new features are kept and pull
> >> requests sent while I think that the difference is the level of
> >> involvement someone has with a driver regardless of how patches ends
> >> in the subsystem tree (picked directly by subsystem maintainers or
> >> sent through pull requests).
> >>
> >> Is the first time I heard your definition but maybe I'm the one that
> >> is wrong so it would be great to get a consensus on that and get it
> >> documented somewhere.
> >
> > I think Lee is over-analyzing.
> >
> >         M: Mail patches to: FullName <address at domain>
> >         R: Designated reviewer: FullName <address at domain>
> >            These reviewers should be CCed on patches.
> >         S: Status, one of the following:
> >            Supported:   Someone is actually paid to look after this.
> >            Maintained:  Someone actually looks after it.
> >
> > "looking after" doesn't mean upstreaming.
> >
> Agreed and upstreaming doesn't mean sending pull request, you can for
> example upstream the downstream changes for a driver you maintain by
> posting patches or ack patches others post and let the subsystem
> maintainer to pick those (even if you are listed as the driver
> maintainer in MAINTAINERS).
> So by following Lee's definition, then most drivers' maintainers
> should not be called maintainers since keeping a tree with patches for
> both fixes and new features, sending pull requests, etc is only
> justified for drivers that have a lot of changes per release. Is not
> worth it for drivers that are in "maintenance mode" where only bugs
> are fixed every once in a while or features are seldom added.

Exactly right.

Although, it looks like M: doesn't even mean Maintainer.  If it did, I
would have made these points over and over until death (or until I got
bored).  However, as M: actually means "Mail patches to", there seems
to be very little difference between that and "Designated reviewer"
and makes me wonder why the R: tag was ever even introduced.  I guess
all of the other guys in the threads below also thought M: meant
Maintainer, or else they would have just added poor old Josh as a
"Mail patches to" recipient and been done with it.

> > The original threads for this were:
> >
> > http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/ksummit-discuss/2014-May/000830.html
> > https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/6/2/446

Lee Jones
Linaro STMicroelectronics Landing Team Lead
Linaro.org │ Open source software for ARM SoCs
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