3.3: Who Do You Talk To?

When developers decide to take their plans public, the next question will be: where do we start? The answer is to find the right mailing list(s) and the right maintainer. For mailing lists, the best approach is to look in the MAINTAINERS file for a relevant place to post. If there is a suitable subsystem list, posting there is often preferable to posting on linux-kernel; you are more likely to reach developers with expertise in the relevant subsystem and the environment may be more supportive.

Finding maintainers can be a bit harder. Again, the MAINTAINERS file is the place to start. That file tends to not always be up to date, though, and not all subsystems are represented there. The person listed in the MAINTAINERS file may, in fact, not be the person who is actually acting in that role currently. So, when there is doubt about who to contact, a useful trick is to use git (and "git log" in particular) to see who is currently active within the subsystem of interest. Look at who is writing patches, and who, if anybody, is attaching Signed-off-by lines to those patches. Those are the people who will be best placed to help with a new development project.

If all else fails, talking to Andrew Morton can be an effective way to track down a maintainer for a specific piece of code.