Is Slow Patch Review For Mesa Driving Away Developers?
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 6 September 2015 at 09:39 AM EDT. 50 Comments
MESA --
While most everyone would agree Mesa could benefit from more developers of this important piece of the open-source Linux desktop stack for providing OpenGL/3D graphics drivers, it seems slow patch review times are frustrating at least some casual developers wanting to contribute.

There's been a Mesa mailing list thread this weekend about Adaptive Vsync support for Mesa. A patch for it was written by independent developer Lauri Kasanen in December of 2013, but never merged. That thread has begun to bring up the bigger underlying issue of slow patch review times leading to independent developers losing interest in maintaining their patches or bothering with pursuing to get them mainlined.

Lauri Kasanen who authored the patch in question mentioned, "I just got tired of trying to push it, when it took nearly three months to get a review. Nowadays I prefer to contribute to projects where patches don't go unnoticed for months at a time."

This is sad to hear since Lauri Kasanen has made other open-source graphics contributions over the past few years.

Another independent developer had commented as well, "I still haven't recieved a response at all for my first patch from almost a year ago (although it was insanely trivial). So it isn't just you :)" It's sad that even something trivial can take more than a year to review, or get lost in the mailing list.

Have you had any problems getting patches reviewed for Mesa or related projects? With any open-source project, have you ever got discouraged by slow turnaround times? What do you think should be done? Should they turn from the classic mailing list method to using something like Gerrit or GitHub?
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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