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Subject: Re: Patch review

Re: Patch review

From: Paul Louden <>
Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2008 14:55:31 -0500

"Patch of the week" is, for one thing, slow. That means "52 patches a
year." It also means that patch authors are at the mercy of which
patches we pick to focus on. And in the end we, as a group, disagree on
a lot of the patches in general. I'm somewhat afraid it'll just result
in RSB meetings every other week.

I mean, for a lot of these patches, either the things wrong with them
have been noted before, and the real problem is that there's nobody
interested in doing the work to actually finish them, or the one or two
people who actually know about the code to review them just don't have
the time to sit down and do so. And it's possible we'll shortly run out
of patches that the vast majority of us can discuss. And even though I
said "Only 52 patches a year," there just aren't that many patches that
really warrant the broad discussion of everyone. There are only a few
big-feature patches that are highly contested.

An alternative might be an "extended discussion" on the mailing list.
Instead of trying to get an interested group of people together in one
place, at one time, we could just ask that people who think a patch
might be suitable for commit and want to get it discussed post that
patch to the mailing list. This is similar to PoTW (I assume we won't
want patches there that are obviously not ready for commit anyway)
except that there's no weekly limit, and there's no requirement that
everyone be awake and present at the same time to discuss any pros and cons.

The reason I suggested the "Focus on Recording" type idea, which I
thought was clear, was as a way to encourage and enliven the community.
If you say "These three months, we're looking for patches in this
specific area," the hope is that people who've worked on those patches
are going to say "Now's my chance, they're looking for me rather than me
trying to wave my arms and get their attention" and get those patches
back in sync. And if we then say to them "We like your patch, and want
it in the release, but X and Y are problems" there's the hope that the
chance to be a significant change for the next release really enthuses
the community member.

I think this "Patch of the Week" idea on the other hand is just going to
lead to people feeling left out because we didn't pick their
nominations, discouraged because we only look at four a month and theirs
is 25th on the list. I'm not really sure I see how it energizes the
community much. We already discuss patches when someone brings them in
and says "Hey guys, what do you think of FS#YYYY." This will, I think,
mostly result in the same sorts of discussions, but won't necessarily
encourage too much work more to be done.
Received on 2008-10-02

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