Governance revisited (Wineconf report)

Robert Lunnon bobl at
Fri Sep 22 16:16:00 CDT 2006

On Thursday 21 September 2006 03:48, Jeremy White wrote:
> >>Wine works fine as-is in my opinion ;)
> >
> > Which you are entitled to, but my opinion happens to differ.  Whether the
> > wine core source has all the patches, (Which it doesn't - many, but not
> > all) isn't relevant, it's the process that they go through that I believe
> > could improve.
> For the record, Governance is something we often spend a chunk of
> time on at each Wine conference.
> Brian has written a nice summary of Wineconf on WWN
> (thanks Brian!), including a reprise of the talk on governance.
> Being insufferably long winded, and feeling the need to create
> a complete record, I would add a few things to what Brian wrote.
> First, I think there was clear and essentially unanimous agreement
> that the current high standards for quality were a Good Thing (TM),
> including the Holy Order of Writing Conformance Tests.
> Second, I think we had fairly clear agreement that so long as
> he can handle it, it is most efficient to have Alexandre as
> the sole maintainer.  Obviously, the more help he gets
> from component maintainers (e.g. Mike/MSI, Rob/COM), the better.
> Third, I think there was clear agreement that Alexandre is
> often a Royal Pain In the Ass (RPITA).  He ignores patches,
> responds tersely, and sometimes delivers the occassional
> kiss of death:  "I can't tell you what to change,
> but your patch is wrong."
> However, we, the assembled 30 or so of the most core Wine
> developers, could not think of a single case where Alexandre
> had been proven wrong.  Nor could we think of a single
> instance when he had failed to be persuaded by reasonable argument;
> making a rather compelling case that he is generally right.
> We also talk, from time to time, about building some sort
> of patch tracking system to allow for better management
> of patches.  Something like a 'ticket' system, so
> people could see the status of their email, whether or
> not it had been reviewed, etc, etc.  I think there is some
> sense that this might be useful, but it's a sufficiently
> complex problem, and it has to be written in emacs,
> that we always defer it for the future.
> So I think the strong (if not unamimous) consensus was to
> continue on as we are, but make an effort to provide
> an 'ambassador' program of some kind, particularly around
> folks that are new to Wine.
> If you have a specific concrete suggestion for change,
> this would be a fine time to put it forward.
> But if your proposal is largely:  "Alexandre should accept
> more patches", I think you'll find that none of the core
> Wine developers will support you in that, so it's not
> worth the effort, at least not in this venue.
> Cheers,
> Jeremy

I have never said anything of the sort, patches should be accepted according 
to a policy, and they are, but the policy is largely unstated, and (In my 
opinion) - wrong.  What I have suggested is a changed governance model where 
Wine development is guided by the collective will toward a community goal and 
that patch acceptance policy is set by the community - including the user 

On community, the wine project doesn't represent a community in the sense that 
Wine has an altruistic purpose to provide value to that community - It 
doesn't do that because the wine developer base doesn't measure important to 
Wine users and set policy to provide that value. This means  Wine isn't a 
particularly good Product. Wine is a developers play-thing, Crossover is a 
Product !


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