overreacting (was: Re: [MPlayer-dev-eng] uau - svn account removal)

Diego Biurrun diego at biurrun.de
Mon Feb 26 00:12:14 CET 2007


where has everybody's sanity gone while I was away from my email for two
days when my mail server was down?  This vote marks a low point in the
history of our project and reminds me of times I had hoped were long

I was going to shout bloody murder at all of you, yet I have slightly
calmed down now after talking to a few people on IRC.  I was going to
let you have a glimpse of my turmoil by inserting a big rant here, but
I have decided to delete it again.  This fire has clearly had enough

It's a mistake to arrive in this kind of situation.  It's a clear sign
that something has gone very very wrong to begin with.

I'm also very very unhappy about the way this vote came about.  IMO it
was far too early to escalate to this point and the very least that
should be done is give an appropriate warning.

So what has happened?  Uoti split some part off from mplayer.c's main
function so that it ended up at a mere 1450 lines, which - given how
long it used to be - should be a reason to unkork a bottle of the good
stuff.  Let's please not forget this.  Therefore first off:


Now it was a big commit and it broke some pieces of MPlayer, namely the
GUI and libmenu.  The former was known, the latter not.  I guess Uoti
simply does not compile with OSD menu enabled.  I personally do not mind
temporary breakage from large changes, it's just the way things go.  In
the end - and this is what counts - Uoti fixed both.

Surely Uoti could have sent a patch before committing and give everybody
else slightly more time to prepare for the big changes.  Would this have
changed (much)?  I doubt it, big patches to the core have very little
chances to get reviewed except maybe by Reimar.  Also, it's normal for
maintainers to commit directly instead of sending patches.

Nevertheless there is no doubt that Uoti missed all the opportunities to
keep people from complaining after the fact.  Surely it would not have
caused Uoti a great deal of grief to wait a short bit more.  It could
have saved us this whole tragic mess.  There's a big lesson in here:
Often how you manage things makes more of a difference than what you
actually end up doing.

Some technical details of the commit were also criticized.  The new file
command.c that was split out from mplayer.c could or should have been
created with 'svn cp' instead of 'svn add'.

This is debatable.

svn-howto.txt is not at all clear in this regard.  After rereading it I
found no part that clearly mandates this.  Others may disagree, but this
only proves that it is indeed not clear.  Furthermore we have a precedent
by Reimar who split out mpcommon.c from mplayer.c shortly before without
using 'svn cp'.

Uoti (re)formatted the new file to his taste, reindenting it, reordering
includes and whatnot.  New files have always been formatted to the
author's taste in MPlayer so I don't see a problem at all here.

Contrary to what some people believe this does not affect the diff
appearing on mplayer-cvslog at all.  New files are shown in their
entirety, always.  The commit notification program could be cleverer
about this, but it just isn't.

If you consider this suboptimal, fine.  Let's make up a policy rule.
Then we can insist on devs following the policy, but not before.

And where does all this talk of Uoti _repeatedly_ breaking the rules
come from?  I don't remember anything like that.  So what is this whole
vote based on then?

Now, don't misunderstand me.  I'll be the first to admit that Uoti is -
to put it in very mild terms - not the most diplomatic person around and
not very good at deescalating a situation.  But you knew that already.
However, you do also know that if we put all the stubborn developers we
have in a line we could form a very long queue indeed (and I'm sure I
myself would be competing for a spot up front).

Uoti largely ignoring all the fuss that was raised on the mailing lists
surely did not help at all, but if you reread it all with a cool head
again you will see that little of it was objective or constructive.
Let's not forget that Uoti *does* maintain the core, nobody else except
Reimar touches it - or even dares touch it - and Reimar abstained from

In any case, the situation we are in right now is justified by nothing,
much less by what Uoti has done.  I have a feeling that everybody is
trying to set an example because they are feeling ignored rather than
because the complaint is justified.

I have a proposition to make in order to draw all of this drama to a
close: nothing.

Seriously.  All the suggestions I have seen to fix the "mess" we are in
will not make anything considerably better IMO.  The tradeoff between the
time and work it takes to clean up and the (marginally if at all) better
situation we will end up with is simply not worth it.  Furthermore,
knowing the lot of us, I don't believe we can pull it off without
generating more ill will, friction and flamage.

Just let it go.

Uoti, please try to make more of an effort to keep everybody happy next
time around.  It will be much appreciated and let my hair keep its color.

Before you jump at your $mailer and answer, please wait.  Have a night's
sleep, let everybody's head cool down and think about what I had to say.


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