[linux-dvb] [ANNOUNCE] DVB API improvements

Mauro Carvalho Chehab mchehab at infradead.org
Thu Sep 25 06:31:07 CEST 2008

Hi Linus,

On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 19:50:36 -0700 (PDT)
Linus Torvalds <torvalds at linux-foundation.org> wrote:

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the bad things that are happening. I'm
really trying hard to do my best to make things happen. It seems that this
bothers a few persons.

As usual, you put your fingers on some good points that we all should listen.
Thank you, Linus.

It seems convenient to explain you a little bit about what is being discussed.
Being copied in the middle of a thread is something bad, especially since the
thread started on a mailing list that requires subscription. Sorry for that.

It should be noticed that Multiproto or S2API are just additions to the
existing DVB userspace API, in order to support newer standards, like DVB-S2 (a
new DVB standard used on Satellite), ISDB-T (used in Japan and Brazil) and some
other standards used on Asia. Drivers that don't support newer standards
doesn't need to be changed.

Since both proposals are meant to do the same thing, but using different
approaches, it doesn't make sense on exposing two different APIs to userspace
to do the same thing.

That's why we needed to take a decision.

It would be easier for me just to take the decision myself, and commit one of the
proposals, but I do believe that we should listen the community and the
developers before adding new features at the userspace API. That's why I've
delayed the decision to take it together with the developers that could be
there at LPC. Before the LPC, we even sent some comments to the community, to
listen to their opinions.

> I don't even understand why you bother discussing (and asking for) 
> technical details, when any sane outsider can see that your big problems 
> aren't technical. They're all personality issues.

That's the reason why LPC were so important: the developers were invited to
be there, and we got an amazing presence of the ones that send 60% of the
patches for the last one year period. (about 11% of the patches came from the
long tail of authors that sent one patch only). So, almost all of the major
contributors were there.

I was positive impressed on the way everything worked well there: it were just
like a meeting of old friends. Nobody wanted to argue against the others.
People did respect each other, and we tried to stick together during the 3 days
of the meeting, to discuss improvements for the subsystems and to align our ideas.

It was really productive. Hopefully, we'll do it again next year, with even
more developers.

In brief, the ones that pushes V4L/DVB development were there, working together
as a group. All discussions happened on high technical level, people respecting
each other. The group decided together in favor of one of the proposals
(S2API), since they believe that it is a better choice, technically speaking [1].

What I see is that the big troubles come from a very few group of noisy
persons that just like to cause damage to the community, without actually
contributing by submitting patches. It is really bad that they prefer to do
flamewars and other random politics at the backstage than to cope together.

>  - don't change the user space infrastructure. And don't do yet another 
>    V4L1 vs V4L2 thing or whatever. Just extend the existing 
>    infrastructure, and leave old drivers (or driver writers that 
>    aren't interested in new features) well alone.

That's the idea.

[1] A public announcement, reviewed by the ones that were at the conf is available at:


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