[linux-dvb] RE : [RFC] Let the future decide between the two.

Thierry Lelegard thierry.lelegard at tv-numeric.com
Thu Sep 25 14:10:02 CEST 2008

> De : linux-dvb-bounces at linuxtv.org 
> [mailto:linux-dvb-bounces at linuxtv.org] De la part de Janne Grunau
> Envoyé : jeudi 25 septembre 2008 12:48
> À : linux-dvb at linuxtv.org
> Objet : Re: [linux-dvb] [RFC] Let the future decide between the two.
> On Thursday 25 September 2008 08:45:28 Michel Verbraak wrote:
> [...]
> > I would like to propose the following:
> >
> > - Keep the two different DVB API sets next to one another. Both
> > having a space on Linuxtv.org to explain their knowledge and how to
> > use them. - Each with their own respective maintainers to get stuff
> > into the kernel. I mean V4L had two versions.
> > - Let driver developers decide which API they will follow. Or even
> > develop for both.
> > - Let application developers decide which API they will support.
> > - Let distribution packagers decide which API they will have
> > activated by default in their distribution.
> > - Let the end users decide which one will be used most. (Probably
> > they will decide on: Is my hardware supported or not).
> > - If democracy is that strong one of them will win or maybey the two
> > will get merged and we, the end users, get best of both worlds.
> >
> > As the subject says: This is a Request For Comment.
> This is complete nonsense, distrobution packagers shouldn't 
> decide which 
> API should be used, the API and all drivers should be in the kernel. 
> Having two tree is at best fragmentation and at worst a whole lot of 
> duplicated work.

Having the two coexisting API is a COMPLETE SOFTWARE DESIGN NONSENSE.

This would not be a "cathedral to bazaar" transition, as someone wrote
on the subject, it would be a "bazaat to mess" transition.

I have no technical opinion on Multiproto vs. S2API since I have been
using only DVT-T device for the last two years. But I have more than
20 years of experience in software design and that would be for sure
the worst decision ever.

On a user point of view, Janne's point is the most important one:
> That should a user do if he has two devices which are only 
> supported by one of the trees? That's bad luck?

And this is not only a Multiproto vs. S2API issue. As I mentioned,
I use only DVT-T devices. I have 4 of them, all working on Linux
for months or years and there is no one single repository supporting
all of them at the same time. Most are supported by
http://linuxtv.org/hg/v4l-dvb, another one needs
http://linuxtv.org/hg/~anttip/af9015 plus other patches.
And this is not a transitional situation, it lasts for months.

This is an endemic but unacceptable situation. And, again, this is
not only Multiproto vs. S2API. IMHO, linux DVB has a real leadership
problem. There are just too many different forks which could be accepted
during transition periods (development and validation of a driver)
but which cannot survive that long.

All these various trees contains technically good code. So, this
is not a technical problem. Failing to merge them is a leadership
problem ("cathedral companies" would say a "management problem").

Imagine what would be the kernel today with that kind of methods?
But for the kernel, there is Linus, a leader that you may like or
not but that everyone respect (and respect the decisions of). The
situation in Linux DVB is not like that, unfortunately.

Since Linux DVB is a subsystem of the kernel and since there is
no undisputed leader in Linux DVB, why not asking for Linus'
arbitration? He started to get involved AFAIK.

Currently, all arguments are like:
- "This API is technically better" (not a technical problem we told you)
- "Give me technical reasons" (same)
- "This was voted" (validity of this vote is disputed -> leadership pb)
- "You don't like me" (personal problems)

One way to get out of this loop is to call for Linus.


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