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Maintainer Entry Profile
The Maintainer Entry Profile supplements the top-level process documents
(submitting-patches, submitting drivers...) with
subsystem/device-driver-local customs as well as details about the patch
submission life-cycle. A contributor uses this document to level set
their expectations and avoid common mistakes; maintainers may use these
profiles to look across subsystems for opportunities to converge on
common practices.
Provide an introduction to how the subsystem operates. While MAINTAINERS
tells the contributor where to send patches for which files, it does not
convey other subsystem-local infrastructure and mechanisms that aid
Example questions to consider:
- Are there notifications when patches are applied to the local tree, or
merged upstream?
- Does the subsystem have a patchwork instance? Are patchwork state
changes notified?
- Any bots or CI infrastructure that watches the list, or automated
testing feedback that the subsystem uses to gate acceptance?
- Git branches that are pulled into -next?
- What branch should contributors submit against?
- Links to any other Maintainer Entry Profiles? For example a
device-driver may point to an entry for its parent subsystem. This makes
the contributor aware of obligations a maintainer may have for
other maintainers in the submission chain.
Submit Checklist Addendum
List mandatory and advisory criteria, beyond the common "submit-checklist",
for a patch to be considered healthy enough for maintainer attention.
For example: "pass with no errors, or warning. Pass the
unit test detailed at $URI".
The Submit Checklist Addendum can also include details about the status
of related hardware specifications. For example, does the subsystem
require published specifications at a certain revision before patches
will be considered.
Key Cycle Dates
One of the common misunderstandings of submitters is that patches can be
sent at any time before the merge window closes and can still be
considered for the next -rc1. The reality is that most patches need to
be settled in soaking in linux-next in advance of the merge window
opening. Clarify for the submitter the key dates (in terms of -rc release
week) that patches might be considered for merging and when patches need to
wait for the next -rc. At a minimum:
- Last -rc for new feature submissions:
New feature submissions targeting the next merge window should have
their first posting for consideration before this point. Patches that
are submitted after this point should be clear that they are targeting
the NEXT+1 merge window, or should come with sufficient justification
why they should be considered on an expedited schedule. A general
guideline is to set expectation with contributors that new feature
submissions should appear before -rc5.
- Last -rc to merge features: Deadline for merge decisions
Indicate to contributors the point at which an as yet un-applied patch
set will need to wait for the NEXT+1 merge window. Of course there is no
obligation to ever accept any given patchset, but if the review has not
concluded by this point the expectation is the contributor should wait and
resubmit for the following merge window.
- First -rc at which the development baseline branch, listed in the
overview section, should be considered ready for new submissions.
Review Cadence
One of the largest sources of contributor angst is how soon to ping
after a patchset has been posted without receiving any feedback. In
addition to specifying how long to wait before a resubmission this
section can also indicate a preferred style of update like, resend the
full series, or privately send a reminder email. This section might also
list how review works for this code area and methods to get feedback
that are not directly from the maintainer.
Existing profiles
For now, existing maintainer profiles are listed here; we will likely want
to do something different in the near future.
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