asterixdb-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Till Westmann" <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Improving reviews
Date Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:40:36 GMT

On 6 Dec 2016, at 10:55, 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?

Excellent question :)

> 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..... If
>> 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 you
>>>> 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 
>>>>> or
>>>>> 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 
>>>>> the
>>>>> 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] 

View raw message