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Subject: Re: Rockbox Steering Board (RSB)

Re: Rockbox Steering Board (RSB)

From: Daniel Stenberg <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 23:34:27 +0200 (CEST)

On Tue, 15 Jul 2008, Brandon Low wrote:

> The only justification for this steering board is that it will help to
> prevent "patch rot" on the tracker. I see absolutely no way that this can
> be a good thing.

I (obviously) disagree with this. I also have no particular plans to discuss
this at length now when we're already in the voting period (and while I'm
actually on vacation!) and I hope that all doubters on this concept will just
sit tight, observe how things go and instead bring all their opinions in the
summer-time 2009 when it is time to evaluate how Rockbox functioned the first

But I still want to just mention these few things about what I think RSB can
be good for:

First, I don't think that's the "only justification" for RSB and in fact I
don't think bitrotting in itself is the problem we need to adress. The bitrot
is a sympthom of a problem. RSB is a suggested attempt to improve things.

- The fact is that Rockbox is growing with many new targets every year, so
   what worked fine two three years ago may not at all apply as nicely today
   simply because of the scale of things. I also think that for the first
   couple of years of early Rockbox history, Björn nursed the project in
   pretty much the same way I would like the RSB to do. RSB is the (almost)
   democratic Björn replacement.

- There's nobody saying that we will change how things are done in the way
   technical merit is what is the primary currency here: actually doing things
   is what counts, not just talking. As it always has been.

- RSB has no other powers to control anything but the plain respect by the
   community that the members have earned. RSB must work in the greater Rockbox
   interest or it will lose its "power" and purpose and it won't function. Thus
   there should be little risk that it will damage things much even if things
   don't work out to work as fine as we'd hope. Remember that we are voting and
   putting some of our most trusted and experienced Rockbox hackers in the
   board. Why would they do anything to damage the project?

- Many (most?) open source projects are run with a single person or a core
   group that has the final "pointing hand" in arguments. This is not really
   much different from that.

- Today, I think various developers have various ideas that are then passed
   upon other various developers. Some dogmas and concepts are thought of as
   "banned" and some are thought of as "encouraged" (and at times they are
   even expressed). Never are those said to be by Rockbox or for Rockbox since
   there's nobody that can or may speak for the project so it is all a matter
   of how loud you can speak on IRC or argue your case over email. RSB can help
   to sort this out. Concepts or code-styles or whatever can be changed a lot
   easier when there's a single group holding the wheel than when we're 65
   committers all turning our own wheels in various directions at various

Received on 2008-07-18

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