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From Duncan Johnston Watt <>
Subject Re: Faster PR reviews
Date Tue, 02 May 2017 14:50:05 GMT
Hi Alex

This is probably covered already but I guess there needs to be an impact
assessment (by submitter?) before something is waved through by default.



On 2 May 2017 at 06:52, Alex Heneveld <>

> Hi Brooklyners-
> As many of you know, my YOML PR #363 [1] has been open for a while. This
> sets up a foundation for giving better documentation and feedback and
> hugely simplifying how we do our parsing.  However it's a very big PR.  I'm
> eager to have people spend some time using it and ideally extending it --
> but here I wanted to raise a meta-question:
> *W**hat should we do with a PR when we aren't able to review things in as
> much depth as we'd like?*
> One option -- call it (A) -- is to say if we can't review things
> thoroughly in a reasonable timeframe, we do a lighter review and if the PR
> looks promising and safe we merge it.
> The other option -- call it (B) -- is to leave PRs open for as long as it
> takes for us to do the complete review.
> I think most people have been approaching this with a mindset of (B), and
> while that's great for code quality and shared code understanding, if we
> can't deliver on that quickly, it's frankly anti-social.  The contributor
> has to deal with merge conflicts (and the rudeness of his or her
> contribution being ignored), and Brooklyn loses velocity.  My PR is an
> extreme example but many have been affected by slow reviews, and I think
> the expectation that reviews have to be so thorough is part of the
> problem:  it even discourages reviewers, as if you're not an expert in an
> area you probably don't feel qualified to review.
> We have good test coverage so product risk of (A) is small, and we have
> great coders so I've no worry about us being able to solve problems that
> (A) might introduce.  We should be encouraging reviewers to look at any
> area, and we need to solve the problem of slow reviews.
> *I propose that the**standard we apply is that we quickly either merge PRs
> or identify what the contributor needs to resolve.
> *I'm all for thorough reviews and shared understanding, but if we can't do
> this quickly I suggest we are better to sacrifice those things rather than
> block contributions, stifle innovation, and discourage reviews by insisting
> on a standards that we struggle to sustain.
> As a general rule of thumb, maybe something like:
> (1) After 7 days of no activity on a PR we go with an "eyeball test";
> unless the following statement is untrue we say:
> /I haven't done as much review as I'd like, but the code is clearly
> helpful, not risky or obviously wrong  or breaking compatibility, it has
> good test coverage, and we can reasonably expect the contributor or
> committers to maintain it.  Leaving open a bit longer in case someone else
> wants to review more but if nothing further in the next few days, let's
> merge.
> /(If there are committers who are likely to be specifically interested,
> call them out as CC.)
> (2) After 3 more days, if no activity, merge it.
> And we encourage _anyone_ to review anything.  If the above response is
> the baseline, everyone in our community is qualified to do it or better and
> we'll be grateful!
> Best
> Alex
> [1]


Duncan Johnston-Watt

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Phone: +44 777 190 2653 | Skype: duncan_johnstonwatt

Twitter: @duncanjw <> | LinkedIn:

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