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[Xen-devel] [PATCH] MAINTAINERS: Clarify the meaning of nested maintainership

Clarify the meaning of nested maintainership.

Signed-off-by: George Dunlap <george.dunlap@xxxxxxxxxx>
We had a discussion about the meaning of nested maintainership at the
recent Xen Hackathon.  The notes of that meeting can be found on this
list [1].  No decision is official until discussed on this list, so
consider this patch the official proposal for this change, and object
or ask for clarification accordingly.

[1] marc.info/?i=<EDB48431-C3EF-4461-B2D2-3AB95EA6C392@xxxxxxxxx>

CC: Ian Jackson <ian.jackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
CC: Jan Beulich <jbeulich@xxxxxxxx>
CC: Keir Fraser <keir@xxxxxxx>
CC: Tim Deegan <tim@xxxxxxx>
CC: Wei Liu <wei.liu2@xxxxxxxxxx>
CC: Konrad Wilk <konrad.wilk@xxxxxxxxxx>
CC: Andrew Cooper <andrew.cooper3@xxxxxxxxxx>
CC: Lars Kurth <lars.kurth@xxxxxxxxxx>
 MAINTAINERS | 34 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 34 insertions(+)

index a34685d..be901d5 100644
@@ -94,6 +94,40 @@ Descriptions of section entries:
              printk, pr_info or pr_err
           One regex pattern per line.  Multiple K: lines acceptable.
+The meaning of nesting:
+Many maintanership areas are "nested": for example, there are entries
+for xen/arch/x86 as well as xen/arch/x86/mm, and even
+xen/arch/x86/mm/shadow; and there is a section at the end called "THE
+REST" which lists all committers, as well as a few more.  The meaning
+of nesting is that:
+1. Under normal circumstances, the Ack of the most specific maintaner
+is both necessary and sufficient to get a change to a given file
+committed.  So a change to xen/arch/x86/mm/shadow/multi.c requires the
+the Ack of the xen/arch/x86/mm/shadow maintainer for that part of the
+patch, but would not require the Ack of the xen/arch/x86 maintainer or
+the xen/arch/x86/mm maintainer.
+(A patch of course needs acks from the maintainers of each file that
+it changes; so a patch which changes xen/arch/x86/traps.c,
+xen/arch/x86/mm/p2m.c, and xen/arch/x86/mm/multi.c would require an
+Ack from each of the three sets of maintainers.)
+2. In unusual circumstances, a more general maintainer's Ack can stand
+in for or even overrule a specific maintainer's Ack.  Unusual
+circumstances might include:
+ - The patch is fixing a high-priority issue causing immediate pain,
+ and the more specific maintainer is not available.
+ - The more specific maintainer has not responded either to the
+ original patch, nor to "pings", within a reasonable amount of time.
+ - The more general maintainer wants to overrule the more specific
+ maintainer on some issue. (This should be exceptional.)
+ - In the case of a disagreement between maintainers, THE REST can
+ vote to settle the matter.  (This should be very exceptional indeed.)
 Maintainers List (try to look for most precise areas first)

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