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Subject[PATCH v3 2/3] Maintainer Handbook: Maintainer Entry Profile
From
Date
As presented at the 2018 Linux Plumbers conference [1], the Maintainer
Entry Profile (formerly Subsystem Profile) is proposed as a way to reduce
friction between committers and maintainers and encourage conversations
amongst maintainers about common best practices. While coding-style,
submit-checklist, and submitting-drivers lay out some common expectations
there remain local customs and maintainer preferences that vary by
subsystem.

The profile contains documentation of some of the common policy
questions a contributor might have that are local to the subsystem /
device-driver, special considerations for the subsystem, or other
guidelines that are otherwise not covered by the top-level process
documents.

The initial and hopefully non-controversial headings in the profile are:

Overview:
General introduction to how the subsystem operates

Submit Checklist Addendum:
Mechanical items that gate submission staging, or other requirements
that gate patch acceptance.

Key Cycle Dates:
- Last -rc for new feature submissions: Expected lead time for submissions
- Last -rc to merge features: Deadline for merge decisions

Resubmit Cadence: When and preferred method to follow up with the
maintainer

Note that coding style guidelines are explicitly left out of this list.

See Documentation/maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst for more details,
and a follow-on example profile for the libnvdimm subsystem.

[1]: https://linuxplumbersconf.org/event/2/contributions/59/

Cc: Jonathan Corbet <corbet@lwn.net>
Cc: Thomas Gleixner <tglx@linutronix.de>
Cc: Mauro Carvalho Chehab <mchehab@kernel.org>
Cc: Steve French <stfrench@microsoft.com>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@linuxfoundation.org>
Cc: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>
Cc: Tobin C. Harding <me@tobin.cc>
Cc: Olof Johansson <olof@lixom.net>
Cc: Martin K. Petersen <martin.petersen@oracle.com>
Cc: Daniel Vetter <daniel.vetter@ffwll.ch>
Cc: Joe Perches <joe@perches.com>
Cc: Dmitry Vyukov <dvyukov@google.com>
Cc: Alexandre Belloni <alexandre.belloni@bootlin.com>
Cc: Paul Walmsley <paul.walmsley@sifive.com>
Signed-off-by: Dan Williams <dan.j.williams@intel.com>
---
Documentation/maintainer/index.rst | 1
.../maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst | 87 ++++++++++++++++++++
MAINTAINERS | 4 +
3 files changed, 92 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 Documentation/maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst

diff --git a/Documentation/maintainer/index.rst b/Documentation/maintainer/index.rst
index 56e2c09dfa39..d904e74e1159 100644
--- a/Documentation/maintainer/index.rst
+++ b/Documentation/maintainer/index.rst
@@ -12,4 +12,5 @@ additions to this manual.
configure-git
rebasing-and-merging
pull-requests
+ maintainer-entry-profile

diff --git a/Documentation/maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst b/Documentation/maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..51de3b9e606d
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,87 @@
+.. _maintainerentryprofile:
+
+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.
+
+
+Overview
+--------
+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
+development.
+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 gates 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 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 checkpatch.pl 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 rc release
+week) that patches might 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 except any given patchset, but if the review has not
+ concluded by this point the expectation the contributor should wait and
+ resubmit for the following merge window.
+
+Optional:
+- 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.
diff --git a/MAINTAINERS b/MAINTAINERS
index 3f171339df53..e5d111a86e61 100644
--- a/MAINTAINERS
+++ b/MAINTAINERS
@@ -98,6 +98,10 @@ Descriptions of section entries:
Obsolete: Old code. Something tagged obsolete generally means
it has been replaced by a better system and you
should be using that.
+ P: Subsystem Profile document for more details submitting
+ patches to the given subsystem. This is either an in-tree file,
+ or a URI. See Documentation/maintainer/maintainer-entry-profile.rst
+ for details.
F: Files and directories with wildcard patterns.
A trailing slash includes all files and subdirectory files.
F: drivers/net/ all files in and below drivers/net
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