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Re: On commit access, patch review, and remaining healthy

From: Arun Isaac
Subject: Re: On commit access, patch review, and remaining healthy
Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 17:41:45 +0530

Hi all,

Tooling aside, at least for me, I think there is an important emotional
and psychological aspect to patch review. Maybe others share it too. So,
I'll speak up.

Sometimes, I don't review and commit patches because I feel like I am
not qualified to review them, and am afraid of pushing a "bad
commit". Guix has very high coding standards (which I very much
appreciate, BTW), but that means that there is a high cost of failure
and a pressure to live up to that high standard. This means that even if
I'm 99% sure of a commit, I tend to leave it to others because of that
nagging 1% doubt I have about some trivial aspect of the patch. The 1%
doubt could even be about really trivial things like indentation or the
name of a variable. In other words, perfectionism causes paralysis.

This excessive self-doubt is created by feeling like one doesn't
"belong" in the elite community of Guix hackers. This problem may be
alleviated somewhat by having more frequent (say, once in 3–4 months)
meetups and encouraging participation by shy people like myself. Having
human non-technical relationships with other members of the Guix
community can also go a long way. The WhereIsEveryone meetups already
help greatly. Perhaps Ricardo's idea of guix-mentors is another
direction worth pursuing.

If this same thread had come up a year or two ago, I would most likely
have remained silent. The only reason I feel alright talking today is
because recently I have got to know more members of the community
"face-to-face" (through online meetings), and feel more comfortable
opening up. I generally prefer text-only communication like email, but
sometimes, putting a human face on people and having a casual
conversation about nothing in particular, goes a long long way.


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