[vlc-devel] Update on the VLC project

Jean-Baptiste Kempf jb at videolan.org
Thu May 3 23:15:57 CEST 2012

On Thu, May 03, 2012 at 09:53:00PM +0200, Pierre Ynard wrote :
> > 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,
> Okay.
> >  - any false accusation, or slander,
> Truth is a subjective view, who's going to decide whether some
> accusation is true or false? A judge?

If a person feel threatened enough, there is a problem.
If really, we need a judge, the non-profit will do.

> >  - 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.

Those are not way too vague. If a person feel threatened, there is a

> >  - 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
> wrong.

This is not blackmail. Blackmail is: "if you do not give me this money,
I will revert your commit or so..."

> > 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.........

I beg to disagree. The fight started on a yes/no on a libvlc.so bump.

> > 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.

What do you suggest then?
You keep insinuating that I am not doing my job, and I do not like it, to
be honest. If I take too much responsability, people complain that this
is not "my project". If I don't, I get criticized too.

Since when the lack of roadmap has been a major issue? This is not a
student project anymore. People can commit to the things they want.
Moreover, seeing the vout rework that was done, I would say that we are
able to have a quite good roadmap for a volunteer project.

How dare you that we lack orientation for PR/legal action, when we do a
lot on that? We never had more PR than this year and we do a lot on the
Legal side: we have taken down more than 50 websites, we have done a lot
on the trademarks side, on the patent and on the DRM side: we ceased

Same for fostering our third-party developer? If you went to the forum
from time to time, you would see that the libVLC section has a lot of
discussion. And as you might have seen, I have spent weeks of work to do
the relicensing.

About the lack of management of personal conflicts, I think I do enough
of this, and this thread is a proof.

You are unfair and not respectful to other people work. And noone has
blocked anyone to help and propose anything.

> 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.

Once again, you are rewriting the history. This is not what happened.
And, as you perfectly know, VideoLAN did not publish the application,
because of this gray area.

> I can imagine this "technical
> arbitration committee" as being something obscure and irrelevant again.

I disagree. It works for other projects, why not for us?

> > Recidive would increase the length of the ban.
> I expect a lengthy ban for Rafaël then, as he's a recidivist
> already.........

We did not have any policy before, this would be a bit unfair, IMVHO.
However, you are perfectly fine to ask for a longer ban at the next

> 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.

What do you suggest then?

> In other words... you've kept people holding their breaths for more than

Absolutely noone blocked you from doing anything.

> 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 therefore advise you to request the non-profit organisation to get rid
of me. You can do that at next meeting.

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

What do you suggest?
So far, _I_ have organised VDD, many times, and a lot of other meetings,
where I reserved travel and Hotels for everyone. Noone blocked anyone to
help, but noone does help.
I do not see why I should do so, if this are the kind of remarks are
what I get.

> 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

I disagree. Those are very symbolic decisions for this time and clear
rules about what is going to happen if there is any small issue in the
We never ever removed git commit access. This is an important sanction.
Rafaël is very aware that next fight will very likely get him out of the
project, and he does not want to.

> 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.

Nothing is obvious. I do not know the world where you live in, but
nothing is obvious and 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...

This is unfair to me and to them. I did not bring this mail out of my
hat, of course, I discussed with people who seemed quite fair, just and
had no side on the topic. Felix, Ludo, Laurent and Chrisophe were of those,
and had provided great advice, for the sanctions to be fair.

Best regards,

Jean-Baptiste Kempf
http://www.jbkempf.com/ - +33 672 704 734
Sent from my Electronic Device

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