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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Documentation/SendingPatches [1 of 2].
Date
Two patches to Documentation/SendingPatches.

This one moves "Include PATCH in the subject" earlier in the to-do list,
and adds two new items: "Follow the chain (or 'why is Linus ignoring me')",
and "Listen to feedback".

It's against 2.5.70.

Changes since last version: two typos fixed (s/Lieutanant/Lieutenant), and
"log rolling" comments into seperate patch, on general principles.

Rob

--- linux-2.5.70/Documentation/SubmittingPatches 2003-05-26 21:00:20.000000000 -0400
+++ linux-new/Documentation/SubmittingPatches 2003-06-11 15:54:29.000000000 -0400
@@ -175,9 +175,14 @@
If the patch does not apply cleanly to the latest kernel version,
Linus will not apply it.

+9) Include PATCH in the subject

+Due to high e-mail traffic to Linus, and to linux-kernel, it is common
+convention to prefix your subject line with [PATCH]. This lets Linus
+and other kernel developers more easily distinguish patches from other
+e-mail discussions.

-9) Don't get discouraged. Re-submit.
+10) Don't get discouraged. Re-submit.

After you have submitted your change, be patient and wait. If Linus
likes your change and applies it, it will appear in the next version
@@ -201,16 +206,56 @@

When in doubt, solicit comments on linux-kernel mailing list.

+11) Follow the chain (or "Why is Linus ignoring me?")

-
-10) Include PATCH in the subject
-
-Due to high e-mail traffic to Linus, and to linux-kernel, it is common
-convention to prefix your subject line with [PATCH]. This lets Linus
-and other kernel developers more easily distinguish patches from other
-e-mail discussions.
-
-
+These days, Linus is too overwhelmed to reliably accept patches directly
+from developers he doesn't know. Furthermore, Linus is unlikely to respond
+to unsolicited email, since he gets so much of it he reads most with the
+delete key. If your patch is being repeatedly ignored, resending it more than
+a few times can get frustrating. There's a better way.
+
+The slow but steady way to get patches into the development kernel is a three
+step process:
+
+ A) Get the maintainer's approval.
+ B) Get the subsystem lieutenant's approval.
+ C) Get it to Linus.
+
+The maintainer is listed in the MAINTAINERS file. This is the first person
+you should approach with your patch, as they're the only ones who owe you
+any kind of response if they've never heard of you before. (Notice they
+do not owe you a _polite_ response. Be nice.)
+
+Maintainers report to lieutenants, which are like subsystem maintainers.
+There are over a hundred maintainers, but only about a dozen lieutenants.
+They're not listed anywhere, but the maintainer you contact should know who
+they report to. (If the maintainer doesn't respond after a week or so,
+you could try asking on linux kernel.) The maintainer may take your patch
+and forward it on themselves, or sign off on it and send you on to the
+appropriate lieutenant with their blessing but not their spare time.
+
+Lieutenants report to Linus. They're the only people who can ding him
+for not answering their email. Linus responds fairly reliably to his
+lieutenants, lieutenants respond to maintainers, and maintainers should
+respond to you. If you follow the chain, at each stage you will be talking
+to somebody who more or less owes you an answer, even if that answer is "no".
+
+The farther away from Linus people are, the more time they're likely to have
+to respond to your email. The response may be "no, that's a bad idea", but
+it's better than being left hanging.
+
+11) Listen to feedback.
+
+If a maintainer, lieutenant, or Linus tells you something specific is wrong
+with your patch, this is a GOOD thing. It means you've been given the
+opportunity to fix it. It's not meant to be discouraging, if they wanted to
+discourage you they'd either ignore you or explicitly tell you to stop
+bothering them.
+
+If Linus himself replies to you by telling you your patch has something wrong
+with it, you have just been encouraged. Same goes for lieutenants and
+maintainers. When they tell you what you need to do to make the thing
+palatable to them, you've been given the opportunity to fix it and resubmit.

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