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Reviewed-by vs. Sign-Off

From: Hynek Hanke
Subject: Reviewed-by vs. Sign-Off
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 13:42:53 +0200

Hello all,

The "Sign-off" tag serves a different purpose than what
we propose to use it for. It's kind of a copyright waiver,
not confirmation of review. The information we want to pass
with respect to code reviews is described very precisely
in the definition of the "Reviewed-by" tag.

We should start using Reviewed-by instead of Sign-off
as not to confuse new developers coming into the project.

You can simply use to do that on the last commit you have applied:
     git commit --amend

If you setup a macro in your text editor to insert the Reviewed-by
line, it's very easy to handle.

If you are applying a bulk of commits, you can do
git rebase -i, which will let you amend multiple
commits, for example like this:
     git commit --amend && git rebase --continue
as you go reviewing them.

I think it's actually proper that you can review commits
after you apply them to your local branch, but before you push
them to the public repository. Especially for bulk commits
this is useful.

Another useful information:

Git distinguishes between authors and comiters. It is possible
to see in Git log who created the patch and who comited it
to the given branch. This gives indirect information on who
has reviewed the patch but is not the same (e.g. when cherry-picking
commits to the stable branch, the comiter is not the reviewer).

I've also tried to make some automatic hooks such as in applypatch-msg
and commit-msg, but I've always run into situations where this is
not what I want, so I recommend the git commit --amend way.

Best regards,
Hynek Hanke

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