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From abdullah alamoudi <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Improving reviews
Date Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:11:07 GMT
If I remember correctly, the tool is JaCoCo. I believe we have a server running somewhere which
has the coverage information for each build. I could be mistaken though.


> On Dec 6, 2016, at 10:58 AM, abdullah alamoudi <> wrote:
> Steven,
> There is already a tool that runs code coverage with each build. (forgot what it is called)
but I am sure we can automate checking that as part of the voting process on changes.
> Cheers,
> Abdullah.
>> On Dec 6, 2016, at 10:55 AM, Steven Jacobs <> wrote:
>> @Abdullah:
>> "we look at the code coverage and how much it improved and based on that,
>> either allow the change in or deny it."
>> What would this look like in practice, i.e. who is the "we" here?
>> Steven
>> On Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 10:42 AM, abdullah alamoudi <>
>> wrote:
>>> I would like to stress one point though: Having no comments after a
>>> timeout (72hr) means that the reviewer couldn't find time to do the review.
>>> In which case, the change owner needs to be extra careful as the whole
>>> blame will be on them if their change breaks something. If you're not
>>> totally sure about your change and are not testing every little possible
>>> case, you can still insist on a review.
>>> One issue that comes to mind is: what if someone's changes continuously
>>> break things?
>>> Of course we can't revoke commit privileges (Can we?) but what we can do
>>> is:
>>> 1. pay more attention to changes submitted by people who's changes break
>>> more often.
>>> 2. increase the timeout period for them "temporarily" 72->96->120.....
>>> you don't like this, don't make bad changes.
>>> 3. MOST IMPORTANTLY,  all of us should strive to have better test coverage
>>> to automatically detect breaks caused by wild changes.
>>> Cheers,
>>> ~Abdullah.
>>>> On Dec 6, 2016, at 10:33 AM, abdullah alamoudi <>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Ceej,
>>>> You spoke my mind and I agree with every word. I believe the way to go
>>> is smoother code review process (maybe through time limit) and more focus
>>> on automated testing. One thing we could do is:
>>>> If the 72 hours period pass with no comments, we look at the code
>>> coverage and how much it improved and based on that, either allow the
>>> change in or deny it. This will push change submitters to add tests to
>>> increase coverage even before the 72h limit passes. This doesn't remove the
>>> responsibility of doing the review. The review is still to be done. However
>>> as Ceej said: One of the goals of doing the reviews is to catch large scale
>>> design errors. Those I think still need humans to look at but they can be
>>> caught fairly quickly with minimal effort.
>>>> As for spreading the knowledge, will leave that to a different
>>> discussion. I will end this with some tweets about code simplicity and
>>> changes taken from Max Kanat-Alexander, author of Code Simplicity:
>>>> 1. You don't have to be perfect. If you make a bad change, just fix it.
>>> (mistakes will happen with or without reviews)
>>>> 2. If somebody is improving code quality, don't shoot them down because
>>> their improvement isn't perfect. (to reviewers)
>>>> 3. The point is to have a maintainable system, not to show how clever
>>> you are. (to submitters)
>>>> 4. Code quality isn't something you fix once and it stays good forever.
>>> It's something you learn to do and continue doing.
>>>> 5. Engineers don't beg, "Please let me build a bridge that will stay
>>> up." You shouldn't need permission to write good software.
>>>> 6. Anybody who tells you that you can fix years of bad code in months or
>>> days is a liar.
>>>> 7. Even huge codebases can be refactored incrementally.
>>>> 8. Sometimes a refactoring will break something. Often, this proves that
>>> the code was too fragile and so needed the refactoring!
>>>> 9. If your code "works," but it's an unstable pile of complexity, do you
>>> feel good about it?
>>>> 10. Refactoring is often easier and more rewarding than you expect.
>>>> 11. Don't try to write "perfect" code, just write *better* code until
>>> you have *good* code.
>>>> 12. Don't worry about how to do the perfect refactoring. Just keep
>>> improving the code in small steps.
>>>> I am glad we're talking about this. Cheers,
>>>> ~Abdullah.
>>>>> On Dec 5, 2016, at 11:13 PM, Chris Hillery <>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> It's always been my opinion that code reviews are a very nice-to-have,
>>> but
>>>>> not more than that. The real value in proposing changes for review comes
>>>>> from the automated testing that can be performed at that stage. I think
>>>>> we'd be better served overall by shoring up and expanding our automated
>>>>> testing rather than spending time discussing and implementing
>>> non-technical
>>>>> process.
>>>>> The main benefits of code reviews are catching large-scale design errors
>>>>> and spreading code knowledge. You can't really have the former until
>>>>> already have the latter - if only one person really understands an area,
>>>>> nobody else will be able to catch design errors in that area. That's
>>>>> clearly a risky place to be, but IMHO at least it's not a problem that
>>> can
>>>>> be solved through rules. It requires a cultural shift from the team to
>>> make
>>>>> spreading code knowledge an actual priority, rather than someone
>>> everyone
>>>>> wants but nobody has time or interest to achieve.
>>>>> If we as a team don't have the drive to do that, then we should accept
>>> that
>>>>> about ourselves and move on. You'll always do best spending time on
>>>>> enhancing the strengths of a team, not fighting against the things they
>>>>> don't excel at. I'm also not trying to make any kind of value judgment
>>> here
>>>>> - software development is always about tradeoffs and compromise, risk
>>>>> versus goals. Any time taken to shift focus towards spreading code
>>>>> knowledge will by necessity pull from other parts of the development
>>>>> process, and the upshot may well not be an overall improvement in
>>>>> functionality or quality.
>>>>> Ceej
>>>>> aka Chris Hillery
>>>>> On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 10:49 PM, Till Westmann <>
>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>> today a few of us had a discussion about how we could make the
>>> reviewing
>>>>>> process moving along a little smoother. The goal is to increase the
>>>>>> likeliness
>>>>>> that the reviews and review comments get addressed reasonably quickly.
>>> To
>>>>>> do
>>>>>> that, the proposal is to
>>>>>> a) try to keep ourselves to some time limit up to which a reviewer
>>>>>> author
>>>>>> responds to a review or a comment and to
>>>>>> a) regularly report via e-mail about open reviews and how long they
>>> have
>>>>>> been
>>>>>> open (Ian already has filed an issue to automate this [1]).
>>>>>> Of course one is not always able to spend the time to do a thorough
>>> review
>>>>>> [2]
>>>>>> / respond fully to comments, but in this case we should aim to let
>>>>>> other
>>>>>> participants know within the time limit that the task is not feasible
>>> so
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> they adapt their plan accordingly.
>>>>>> The first proposal for the time limit would be 72h (which is taken
>>> from the
>>>>>> minimal time that a [VOTE] stays open to allow people in all different
>>>>>> locations and timezones to vote).
>>>>>> Another goal would be to abandon reviews, if nobody seems to be
>>> working on
>>>>>> them
>>>>>> for a while (and we’d need to find out what "a while" could be).
>>>>>> Thoughts on this?
>>>>>> A good idea or too much process?
>>>>>> Is the time limit reasonable?
>>>>>> Please let us know what you think (ideally more than a +1 or a -1
>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>> Till
>>>>>> [1]
>>>>>> [2]

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