[FFmpeg-devel] bans

Ivan Kalvachev ikalvachev at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 01:16:30 CEST 2016

On 6/15/16, Michael Niedermayer <michael at niedermayer.cc> wrote:
> Hi all
> As noone is doing anything about the situation and what is being
> done will not lead anywhere (the vote likely wont lead anywhere as
> likely few would ban a active developer 4 month and then if not
> some will feel injustice prevailed thus
> After writing this mail i will
> 1. ban carl for 24h from the ML due to
> causing  derek to leave the project. (24h was suggested in the IRC
> meeting)
> I suspect carl saw the merges done by derek as causing more bugs than
> good so he attacked until derek stoped doing the merges.
> The correct course of action would have been a vote about stoping the
> merges or a change to the procedure to reduce the amount of bugs.
> Like maybe a seperate branch where merges can be tested for ~24h before
> being pushed to master ...
> Or maybe more people working on fixing regressions
> As a sidenote, most of the regressions should be fixed by now.
> 2. ban derek for ~24h from the ML due to causing lukasz to leave the
> project last year, and due to personal insults on the ML and IRC
> to lukasz and carl.
> As derek is not subscribed to the list ATM, this will be implemented
> by moving him from the accept_these_nonmembers list to the
> reject_these_nonmembers list for ~24h
> 3. ban myself for ~24h from the ML because i wrote offensive mails too
> years ago and i doubt none was pivotal in causing someone to leave
> Thanks

I don't think that these bans would change anything.

The problem is that they would not address
any of the reasons for getting here.

There's been accumulation of a lot of mud,
and what we have seen so far is not even
the tip of the iceberg.

There are people who sincerely believe that
FFmpeg project would be better without Carl.
That Carl hates LibAV project and that hate is
obstruction to the consolidation between the
two projects.

The negativity turns into hostility and provocations.

When Carl complains that some merge breaks FFmpeg,
he is viewed as attacking LibAV and the merger,
even when he is actually only concerned about bugs in FFmpeg.
Then some people think they are in their right to counterattack.

Somebody described the result as:
"it's years of build up displeasure about
the general behavior of a person."

How do you resolve that?

I have no idea.

People don't remember facts, they remember emotions.
And people refuse to acknowledge making mistake,
rejecting any arguments, based on facts and logic.

This basically means that things would only get worse.
Derek's dramatic departure put quite a pain in hearths of
the people who consider him a friend.
They would not forgive Carl for that.

For these who are relatively new to the project,
the same crisis has happened before in FFmpeg,
but with different people.

It was Mans who left FFmpeg, because of Michael's
alleged violations of rules and savage behavior.
There was a vote to keep or kick Michael and the vote kept him.
Things then got silent for few months, until Mans returned by
takeover of FFmpeg project and servers, supported by
a big portion of developers and the other admins.

Takeover at the moment is not really plausible,
since the admins won't support it.

What is plausible is that hostility would remain.
There will be more incidents involving Carl,
some people would push for stricter punishments.

Likely outcomes are:
1. Carl leaves on his own.
2. Carl is banned permanently.
3. Derek friends leave FFmpeg one by one.
4. Derek friends fork FFmpeg.

The first two variants does look like they are
going to be best for FFmpeg, however things
are never this simple. Once Carl is gone,
hostility would be directed to anybody who
opposes in any way the friends circle.

What happened to lukasz, would happen
to a lot more developers and contributors.

This would inevitably lead to stagnation,
lack of manpower, lack of new features,
increase in bugs, long delays in handling security exploits.
All things that are quite common in LibAV project
and also some of main reasons for FFmpeg
replacing it in Debian.
After all, this is how LibAV came to be,
as a circle of friends who got rid of
undesirable developer(s).

So what do you really want?

Do you want to ruin FFmpeg? Because that's how you ruin a project.

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