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Re: [Qemu-devel] An organizational suggestion

From: Anthony Liguori
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] An organizational suggestion
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2008 15:37:39 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20080501)

Ian Jackson wrote:
Paul Brook writes ("Re: [Qemu-devel] An organizational suggestion"):
I'd just like to point out that committing patches is easy. The hard
(and time consuming) bit is identifying, rejecting, fixing and/or
making constructive comments on all the bogus patches. The are lots
of patches that fall into this latter category, e.g. patches that
have clearly only ever been tested on x86 targets.


 It doesn't take any special privileges to do this patch review.

That's true, but it doesn't tell the whole story.  Anyone can
criticise a patch (and we do).  But while review by a non-committer is
very helpful, it still doesn't mean that the committer doesn't have to
do review of their own.  After all the committer is actually the
gatekeeper and has the personal responsibility to commit good code.

Also, review and improvement of patches by non-committer contributors
depends on the contributors' expectation that patch will be accepted
when it is good.  There is no point in people reviewing and commenting
on and improving patches if the maintainers don't have the time or
inclination to get those refined patches actually reviewed by them and

Here's a couple things I notice that often cause a patch to be dropped:

1) It has something wrong, but not sufficiently interesting enough for anyone to offer feedback

2) It has something wrong, there's a thread with discussion and resubmissions of the patch, and the thread eventually cools off with a patch people are happy with

3) It's lost in the noise

#3 is something that happens. A contributer has to resend patches to any project. I don't think this happens very often on QEMU.

More often, I think the problem is #1. This is something that we all can fix by just reviewing patches. This has been an important issue for a while now and I'm willing to dedicate a portion of my time to reviewing patches. For anyone submitting a patch to qemu-devel, feel free to CC me to make sure I review it. I'm not saying that my review will guarantee acceptance, but I will keep track of patches I've reviewed.

#2 is a process problem. It's unclear in this sort of thread, who's happy with the patch, and whether a conclusion has been reached. The best thing to do is here to make use of Reviewed-by or Acked-by tags and to resubmit the patch as a top-level posting once consensus has been reached.

With a few more people dedicating time to patch review I think we can improve things quite a bit.


Anthony Liguori

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