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Re: Development suggestions from an ENSIME developer

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Development suggestions from an ENSIME developer
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:56:50 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1.50 (gnu/linux)

> For me, most of the work is between 1 and 2.  The decision whether the
> patch looks good is often times not an easy one, it requires reading
> more code than is directly affected by the patch, consult the
> documentation, sometimes reading past discussions and bug reports,
> sometimes trying the patched version.  That's the most time-consuming
> part of patch review, and it isn't going to go away, nor (it seems)
> will it be helped by the proposed changes in any way.

It's no silver bullet, no.  But the question was not "will it do the
work for me" but just "is it going to be better or worse".
I think it's going to be marginally better.

E.g. for step "1b", you get to look at the patch in the format you
like rather than in the format the submitter chose.

> For me, the annoying part is not the failure to apply the patch.  It's
> the last touches I need to apply to the patch to make it up to our
> standards.  In many cases, I hesitate to ask the submitter to do that,
> either because there were already several iterations of the comments
> and reviews, and I don't want to drive them off, or because explaining
> what should be changed and how will take more time and effort than
> just doing it and telling the submitter "look what I did and try to
> follow in the future".  I don't expect these aspects to be helped in
> any way, by any system.

Indeed, it will probably be just about the same in this respect.

> These are non-issues for me.  They seldom happen, and when they do,
> it's easy to handle them.

Mostly agreed, except for "a diff w.r.t the previous version of that
same merge request": I haven't needed it often, but the few times I did,
I found it excruciating to extract that info from emails.

>> - hopefully/ideally the tool could have already checked copyright.list
>> for you.
> Is there any system that does?  I doubt that.

Out of the box of course not.
But if it's got enough hooks, we should be able to add it ourselves.

>> - "3b" can just mark the request as "reviewed by <foo>", so you can give
>> "half-commit" rights to some users.
>> - it sometimes makes it easier for 3rd parties (or for the reviewer) to
>> update the merge request directly (instead of adding comments).
> Does the above really make sense in a project where most patches get
> reviewed by a single person?

If we want to improve our commit-logs, I think we need to reduce the
number of people who have full commit rights.  So while we probably
wouldn't be able to make any use of "half-commit" rights right now, it
could be very useful at some later time.

>> Of course, there's also the effect on the side of the patch-submitters,
>> where the precise flow is often made easier for them because there's no
>> doubt about where to send the patch, in which format, etc...
> I envision more complaints from submitters about the complexity of the
> process...

A few old timers might be annoyed, but I'd expect most other submitters
would welcome the change.


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