[linux-dvb] [Proposal] Regarding the mailing lists

Hans Verkuil hverkuil at xs4all.nl
Fri Jan 11 00:56:25 CET 2008

On Friday 11 January 2008 00:33:13 CityK wrote:
> As many of you know, I'm working towards a merger of the two
> subsystem's wiki's, as it just seems to be a logical step in regards
> to
> informational purposes.
> But, for a good while now, there has been something else that has
> struck me as being another very logical step towards providing
> general improvement around here.  Specifically, after having seen an
> increased frequency of "dvb-related" posts on the v4l list, and vice
> versa, as well as the large number of such mis-postings commonly
> entertained  on the two #irc channels, it has spurred me into
> thinking/believing that a change on both of these fronts is required.
>  Here is what I suggest:
> - merge/consolidate  the [linux-dvb] and [video4linux-list]  into one
> "[LinuxTV-users]" list
> - that a separate, but totally open and transparent,
> "[LinuxTV-devel]" list be created for the express purpose of housing
> v4l and dvb subsystem development discussions ... Now some might say
> "keep the subsystem's discussions separate!", which is fine - i.e. we
> could simply create, for example, "[LinuxTV-v4l- devel]" and
> "[LinuxTV-dvb-devel]" ... although, in my assessment, given that
> there is a low amount of traffic in these regards (i.e. actual
> development discussion, as opposed to end user problems and
> troubleshooting),  I'm not sure that the creation of separate "devel"
> lists is necessarily warranted ...discussions placed on a single
> "[LinuxTV-devel]" list could easily be made to distinguish the topic
> coverage by simply using a "v4l:" or" dvb:" prefix in the subject
> header.  But again, if distinct development discussion lists are
> deemed more desirable (for whatever bona fide argument)  then that is
> perfectly acceptable.

I agree that a unified users and devel mailinglist is desirable. And 
should it become necessary to split off dvb or v4l specific 
mailinglists then we can always do that later.

> - the maintainer list .. well, it can either stay as is, or perhaps
> it might be logical to wind it up and move its operations into the
> unified devel list (or separate devel lists if that is deemed more
> desirable) ... there may be perfectly good reasons (that I'm unaware
> of or overlooking)  for keeping it as is, so its not particularly
> important ... but in the context of creating a "[LinuxTV-devel]"
> list, it seems that having a separate maintainer list just for patch
> and pull requests would be kind of redundant and better served on the
> "devel" list as well

I think it is useful to keep this as is IMHO. This way the pull requests 
and maintenance issues do not drown in the other traffic.

> One factor that perhaps adds some weight to this argument/proposal is
> the diminishing importance that analogue TV related issues are going
> to hold over time ( as more and more countries switch to digital
> transmission systems).  Of course, the light won't go out for
> analogue TV for a number of years to come, but I think that users
> familiar to the lists will have already noticed the trend towards dvb
> related topics on the v4l list.

v4l is not about analog TV in particular, it is basically for everything 
video related that is not a DVB device or a graphics card. This 
includes webcams, MPEG encoders/decoders, digital video streaming, 
among others. While analog TV will diminish in importance (in some 
parts of the world) that does not mean that v4l will become less 

> Some of the other "pro" arguments to back this proposal are as
> follows:
> - ease and convenience for the end user (i.e one list, and not two
> separate lists) ... quite frankly, the typical end user does not
> understand or make the distinction that v4l is an analogue related
> subsystem -- its all video for linux for them -- both dvb or analogue
> questions ... similarly, I have doubts that all that many end users
> really grasp that dvb is in relation to a digital subsystem.

I agree.

> - in general, I like the unified branding that "LinuxTV" permits ...
> its about TV on Linux based computer systems ... its name should be
> pretty straight forward in conveying that fact (at least, it strikes
> me as being such) ... and it avoids the end user having to figure
> whether they need to post on v4l or on linux-dvb lists ... quite
> frankly, "v4l" is a poor descriptor -- if I were a novice, I'd be
> more inclined to think that it was about video cards as opposed to
> being an analogue capture subsystem...in these regards, "dvb"
> certainly isn't much better in conveying that its dealing with the
> reception or capture of (digital) television

I disagree. As stated above, v4l really deals with video streams in one 
way or another. Analog TV is a fairly small part of that. So I 
personally think that v4l is a pretty good descriptor of this 
subsystem. (Although there are some oddities like radio and RDS 
devices). To keep in sync with v4l-dvb-maintainer I would suggest 
v4l-dvb-users and v4l-dvb-devel.

> - turning to the #irc channels, the same arguments hold, except that
> the dvb related channel isn't even named as such...rather it carries
> the "linuxtv" name ... now, I know that the channel topic headers
> will describe the type of discussion related to that channel, but
> honestly, next to no one heeds any attention to that...so it is of my
> opinion that the situation is even less then clear for the end
> user....in my opinion, its time to make a single channel function for
> all end users .... if so desired  even two channels --
> "#LinuxTV-users" (or even just usurp the existing #linuxtv channel
> into becoming multifunctional) and possibly another for developers if
> they so desire (i.e. "#LinuxTV-dvel")

Well, I'd choose #v4l-dvb, but otherwise I agree. I never really think 
of this as a 'linuxtv' project because I always thought of it as v4l 
and dvb subsystems and linuxtv being just the domain name.

> In short, we can:
> - help alleviate end user confusion
> - improve the lines of communication (i.e end users will only need
> approach one list/#irc for their TV or capturing need, regardless of
> whether their questions/problems are analogue or dvb related)
> - provide a greater user pool looking at all the end user problems
> - capitalize on a unified branding (i.e. "LinuxTV")
> - help promote a unified front/effort, and put an end to the
> segmentation .... something that I feel is needlessly too common of
> an occurrence in respect to Linux ..... (nine hundred and ninety-nine
> largely non differing distros being a prime example)
> ... and perhaps some other good reasons that I'm just not thinking
> about right now.




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