[llvm-dev] [PITCH] Improvements to LLVM Decision Making

Renato Golin via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Wed Jan 15 04:36:38 PST 2020

On Wed, 15 Jan 2020 at 11:58, James Henderson via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> To be clear, my comment was purely intended to refer to non-technical decisions (i.e. not things like code reviews etc that stall because there's disagreement about what to do, but rather things like switching to the monorepo/github PRs etc). Indeed, my understanding from Chris's pitch is that his proposal isn't intended to address that either:

High level technical also fall into that category, for example,
changes in one area impacting others (like changing the IR semantics,
pass manager structure, etc) as well as accepting new projects with
varying degree of compatibility (like new front or back ends).

> These decisions are significantly more impacting than the more technical ones as they usually impact pretty much every single developer. They are also often irreversible after a certain point, or at least would cause serious issues if we tried to reverse. Finally, once a decision has been made and started to be implemented, I always feel like there's a greater level required for objections, so people who weren't able to be involved are less likely to voice their opinions after the fact in a way that will actually generate any further discussion. Don't get me wrong, I agree that we can't keep a review open forever, since you can't accommodate everyone (e.g. months-long parental leave/long-term sicknesses/sabbaticals etc), but surely 1-2 weeks for such decisions isn't enough.

I agree, that's why we need to be flexible on all counts. From
understanding that people sometimes miss the time (and waiting for or
pinging people), to accepting the responsibility of looking at those
issues with high priority.

First, we need to separate the noise, because the llvm-dev list is not
suitable. I oftten only pick up when Alex's weekly comes up, sometimes
it's too late. We need a clear and separate channel for decisions
which can interrupt us with high priority.

But also people that want/need to be involved in the decision process
must be responsible for their own domain. For example asking someone
else to look for important changes while you're away.


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