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Review Thoughts

·2 mins

So, I think I’ve figured out what it is I dislike about Twisted’s review process: reviews aren’t thorough enough.

This sounds a little weird, since it’s actually really hard to get a patch into Twisted: it almost always takes me at least three round trips just to get something in. But I think the number of round-trips is actually a symptom of this lack of completeness.

In Launchpad, reviews are done as in-line replies to diffs. A reviewer is obliged to note each chunk of code that needs to be changed, along with exactly what needs to be changed. In Twisted, reviews are done as Trac comments and generally provided as bullet points. In Launchpad, a reviewer would say, “You need to change foo_bar to fooBar, because our coding standards require camel case”. In Twisted, a reviewer might say “There are some naming convention issues”.

This obviously varies between reviewers and even between reviews, but I think that the difference in technologies encourages differences in review style.

As a patch submitter, I find the in-line-comments-on-diff form much more helpful. It provides me with a convenient todo list, and it lets me know that the reviewer has looked through and tried to understand all of my code. It essentially turns the review into a series of mini bug reports with “observed, expected, how to reproduce” sections (where “how to reproduce” is “where to find”).

I also like it as a reviewer, since it means less typing.