One of the essential features of plumbing is that disparate groups of people have to work together to produce all of the pieces required to be fitted together into the whole. Unfortunately, different groups tend to have different working methods, different procedures and even different ways of communicating. The result is that working together on several interlocking features can be much harder than you think. This talk will give an overview of some of the essential social aspects of working well with the kernel community: namely what a good change log is, how to write one and how to convince a subsystem maintainer to trust you (and by extension, your patches). We'll give a simple framework for interacting with the kernel community in ways that can increase your patch uptake with actual proof points from experience at Parallels and some amusing anecdotes and examples of how and how not to go about this.
Audience: Almost anyone who needs to extend the kernel and therefore has to write a patch (or even those who just discover bugs during testing and want to submit patches to fix them).
James Bottomley is CTO of Server Virtualisation at Parallels and Linux Kernel maintainer of the SCSI subsystem, PA-RISC Linux and the 53c700 set of drivers. He has made contributions in the areas of x86 architecture and SMP, filesystems, storage and memory management and coherency. He is currently a Director on the Board of the Linux Foundation and Chair of its Technical Advisory Board. He was born and grew up in the United Kingdom. He went to university at Cambridge in 1985 for both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees. He joined AT&T Bell labs in 1995 to work on Distributed Lock Manager technology for clustering. In 1997 he moved to the LifeKeeper High Availability project. In 2000 he helped found SteelEye Technology, Inc as Software Architect and later as Vice President and CTO. He joined Novell in 2008 as a Distinguished Engineer at Novell's SUSE Labs and Parallels in 2011.