[LLVMdev] code-owner sporks

Greg Fitzgerald garious at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 16:39:19 PST 2012

David A. Green wrote:
> I find llvm-commits daunting.  So much that I hesitate to do reviews.
> As Chris commented, I am not very active on that list.  There's a reason
> for that beyond lack of time.

So the goal is to make it easier for a member of the community to
review only commits to a sub-tree that interests them?

Let's say it may or may not be easier for reviewers to monitor the
Pull Requests of a spork than to write a clever filter for
llvm-commits.  And we'll also say that it may or may not be easier for
reviewers to comment on a patch on Github than trying to reference
code blocks in llvm-commits email.  At this point we really don't know
if one solution is better than the other, but we have good reason to
believe Pull Requests might be a big win.  So rather than all the
talk, can we baby-step forward in a noncommittal way?

How about allowing the code owner to add a line to CODE_OWNERS.TXT of
the location to submit patches?  If no location is given, assume
llvm-commits.  If the URI is a Github spork, the contributor should
make a Pull Request.


On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 3:50 PM,  <dag at cray.com> wrote:
> Sean Silva <silvas at purdue.edu> writes:
>>> - I have to *remember* I submitted the patch (not hard, but it is a
>>>   cost).
>> If you forgot, the chances are high that the patch was unimportant. I
>> do my development on local git branches, so every time I do `git
>> branch`, I'm reminded. There's really no overhead.
> Every time you have to check it's overhead.  It may be small overhead,
> but it's nonzero.
>>> - I have to save that e-mail from llvm-commits so I can refer to it when
>>>   the inevitable ping is necessary.
>> Maybe you need a better mail-reader? In gmail I just look in my "sent
>> mail" or if I have sent a lot of mail recently I search "is:sent
>> has:attachment". It literally takes 10 seconds.
> Ok, I'll give you this one.  :)
>>> - I have to wade through tons and tons of commit e-mails searching for a
>>>   response to my patch (for some reason the mailing list software often
>>>   breaks threading).  This is a more general problem with the current
>>>   review process, not strictly a timeliness issue.
>> Sounds like you need a better mail reader. I have never heard of this
>> even remotely being a problem in any way, at all, ever.
> Really?  You've never heard comments about the huge volume of mail on
> llvm-commits?  I just read another message about it today.
>>> - I have to send a ping e-mail.
>> Once again, this takes like what, 10 seconds? I find it highly
>> unlikely that 10 seconds is a non-negligible amount of time compared
>> to the time spent coding, building, and testing any non-obvious (i.e.
>> needing review) change.
> Again, it's non-zero.  I have to break out of whatever I'm doing,
> context switch and send the mail.
>>> - Now I have to look for responses to *two* e-mails.
>> You definitely need a better mail reader. In every mail reader I've
>> ever seen, both mails get clustered into a thread. Maybe this is the
>> root cause of your vehement dissatisfaction with the current
>> email-based system?
> Even if threads are clustered, one still has to look through tons of
> subject lines to find it.
>> Have you considered the amount of quality code that gets produced with
>> the current process?
> Code quality doesn't reflect how efficient the review system is.  It
> reflects how good the reviewers are and we are fortunate to have
> excellent ones.
> I find llvm-commits daunting.  So much that I hesitate to do reviews.
> As Chris commented, I am not very active on that list.  There's a reason
> for that beyond lack of time.  By definition, making the process simpler
> and more organized should result in less time for reviews and thus
> hopefully more review participation.
>> What kind of improvements can we expect from such a system?
> A one-stop shop for reviewers to find patches.  Something searchable by
> subsystem, file name, etc.  I can't review every patch that goes by but
> I certainly can review patches for files I'm currently working in.  If I
> could start my day by doing a patch search on whatever file I'm
> currently working on, I'd make it a daily practice to do some reviews.
> Right now that is tedious to do with e-mail.
>> Are there advantages that email has over a more structured
>> sort of review system like Phabricator?
> I don't know.  I would like to know if there are any.  I suppose it's
> super convenient to open the list of messages but beyond that I get
> overwhelmed.
>> Are you sure that the bottleneck
>> which causes high review latency isn't elsewhere in the system?
> Of course I'm not sure.  I'm not sure anyone is sure.  :) All I know is
> that there's a problem.
>> Or, as counterintuitive as it may seem, perhaps all of the things you
>> are pointing to as problematic (e.g. review latency, patches getting
>> dropped) are actually *beneficial* (maybe it prevents less-determined
>> people from becoming contributors?
> If that's our goal then I will just say right out it is not a good one.
>                            -David
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