[vlc-devel] Update on the VLC project

Pierre Ynard linkfanel at yahoo.fr
Thu May 3 21:53:00 CEST 2012

> Let me remind you of a few unacceptable actions:
>  - insults on mailing list operated by VideoLAN,
>  - insults on public IRC channels operated by VideoLAN,
>  - forwarding a private conversation to a public mailing list (videolan@
>      and asso@ are private)
>  - IRL insults and phyiscal fights,


>  - any false accusation, or slander,

Truth is a subjective view, who's going to decide whether some
accusation is true or false? A judge?

>  - any kind of threats,
>  - ad hominem attacks,

These are way too vague. Many negociations or declarations or intent
could be construed as threats. Criticism of a behavior could be
construed as an ad hominem attack. Let's get real, only the care bears
manage to achieve an environment that is devoid of threats.

>  - blackmail,

Same. Just saying "I disagree and if you decide to do that anyway,
don't come to whine to me and don't count on me to fix the bugs" could
be construed as a threat and blackmail and would be forbidden. That's
ridiculous. Plus, you can't try and prevent Rémi from quitting, forking
and relicensing if he's not satisfied with the situation, that's just

>  - insults on forum, wiki, trac and other web services.

> The tone on the repositories has been mostly fine, lately, with no
> commits wars nor pushing of very discutable piece of code.

Sounds like the technical decision process is going fine then, no need
to arbitrate this.........

> In order to avoid the same situation we've been into, I suggest a few
> things:
>  - the creation of a technical arbitration committee, to avoid the
>    YES/NO discussions, and whose decision will be final, like Debian or
>    Rockbox,

As you and I just agreed upon, the technical decision process is the
least of our problems. A technical arbitration committee wouldn't
help with the lack of orientation for PR/legal action, the lack of
orientation for technical developement, the lack of roadmap, the lack of
orientation for fostering our third-party developer community, and the
lack of management of personal (as in, not technical) conflicts.

I don't think that the current technical arguments mislead the final
decisions. Let me ask you one question: will Rémi be in the committee?
If so, then the problem will still be there, but shifted, and possibly
worse if it gives more authority to Rémi to assert his opinions. If
not, then you're arbitrary excluding him from the decisions. Not that it
would solve a big problem: there are decisions that have been made in
the past, lua stuff for example, despite his disapproval, and it didn't
prevent development from going on fine anyway. The only thing that this
would achieve would be mitigating the tensions and harshness of the
"YES/NO discussions", by hiding them behind a phantom committee, which
is not the right solution for the right issue.

To finish on this topic, I'll come back on a "committee decision" that
happened in the past: when the association decided, without consulting
the rest of the developers, without getting the blessing of the lead
developer, that the licensing questions around Apple's ToS were a gray
area, and that this justified giving a green light to the iOS port,
leading to the whole App Store fiasco. I can imagine this "technical
arbitration committee" as being something obscure and irrelevant again.

> All of them can be temporary or definitive, depending on the issue.
> Temporary sanctions should be automatic, in case of violation of the
> rules.

Okay, but not with such vague and hard to apply terms as "threat" and

> Recidive would increase the length of the ban.

I expect a lengthy ban for Rafaël then, as he's a recidivist

> About the current situation, here is what I suggest (from suggestions):
>  - Public excuse of behaviour of Rafaël on the mailing list,

Already been done before.

>  - Private excuse for insults on the mean of communication involved,
>    by everyone who did those (last count was 5 people),

Already been done before, I assume.

>  - 1 day ban of Rémi, Rafaël and the other people from IRC channel for
>    insults,
>  - 1 week removal of commit access for Rafaël,

1 day, 1 week??? This is nothing but a symbolic sanction. And that day
and week will be over very soon and we'll be back to the same situation.

>  - Warn Rafaël and other protagonists that any redo or teasing will
>    create an immediate stronger sanction,

Already been done before.

>  - Vote at the next meeting to enforce any sanctions in a more permanent
>    way or take another set of sanction (including but not limited to the
>    debarment of individuals from the association or the project).

In other words... you've kept people holding their breaths for more than
a week, hurting Rémi with your lack of reaction, hurting Rafaël by
leaving him in this painful situation, and hurting me by not supporting
in his action and keeping away from these private talks the one person
who was actually trying to do something to talk this out... all of this
to suggest "solutions" that have already been tried before and obviously
failed, and announce that we have to wait yet more until a next meeting
to see a real sanction or anything discussed.

I note too that you don't suggest anything to solve the underlying
conflicts, foster friendlier interactions etc...

> As Laurent suggested, complete removal of git rights should be kept
> only when commits are screwed up, which is not the case here.

It was the case in the past. And anyway, git rights are not necessary
to contribute, I'd be more worried about shunning a developer from the
community than about his commit bit.

What I believe is that there is no happy option, and you guys are
too afraid of doing what needs to be done, whatever that is. So you
do nothing, saying that you're giving it some time to cool down as
an excuse, and then since you still have to do something, you take a
symbolic action and wrap it up in a lot of red tape to look like you've
been productive. j-b, apart from going over the state of the project and
suggesting the technical committee, what you said is all obvious stuff
that goes without saying.

Also, while I greatly welcome new participants to this discussion to
give their opinion, seeing as first replies Ludovic and Felix magically
popping out of nowhere to one-up you is a bit pathetic, as they were
sure enough by your side while you were writing these guidelines...

Finally, on a personal note, to make it clear: I'm sick of this.

Pierre Ynard
"Une âme dans un corps, c'est comme un dessin sur une feuille de papier."

More information about the vlc-devel mailing list