If you are a developer interested in getting your code into mainline, Greg KH keynote at Linaro Connect 2013 Hong Kong is probably worth a watch. In this presentation entitled “I Don’t Want Your Code! Linux Kernel Maintainers, why are they so grumpy?”, he first describes the large amount of patches they receive (7.28 patches per hour for kernel 3.8.0), gives some statistic about developers and companies involved with the kernel (about 20% is done by individuals), tells the audience they should submit the kernel code during SoC emulation/simulation stage, so that it’s accepted and ready to use when customers get the silicons (like Intel does), and quotes Intel and IBM executives saying “Working upstream saves time and money”.
He then moves on what he does not want to see (and gets a lot): patch series with missing patches, email signature saying it’s confidential (since Linux development is done publicly, he’s legally required to delete it), patch format incorrect, patch created in wrong directory or against the wrong tree, wrong coding style, patches that won’t compile, and so on. Greg explains he tries to be as nice as possible with individual developers, but he will be very strict with developers working for companies as they should know what they are doing, and 10 to 15 minutes Linaro bashing ensues… He even explains he will not accept code from one particular developer for one year unless it’s signed off by a senior Linaro developer.
He concludes by saying that if developers wants him to accept their code, they have to “give me no excuse to reject their patch”, and once that happens he will make sure the patch is reviewed within 1 or 2 weeks, and offer semi-constructive criticism, and let you know about the status of the patch.
You can also download the presentation slides. If you want to learn in details what you have to do to submit a patch, you may want to read “How to Write and Submit a Linux Kernel Patch” presentation at FOSDEM 2010.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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