[openstack-dev] Re : welcoming new committers (was Re: When is it okay for submitters to say 'I don't want to add tests' ?)

John Dennis jdennis at redhat.com
Mon Nov 4 17:33:35 UTC 2013

On 10/31/2013 10:36 PM, Jeremy Stanley wrote:
> As has been said many times already, OpenStack does not lack
> developers... it lacks reviewers.

In regards to reviews in general and in particular for welcoming new
committers I think we need to be careful about reviewers NAK'ing a
submission for what is essentially bikeshedding [1]. Reviewers should
focus on code correctness and adherence to required guidelines and not
NAK a submission because the submission offends their personal coding
preferences [2].

If a reviewer thinks the code would be better with changes which do not
affect correctness and are more in the vein of "style" modifications
they should make helpful suggestions but give the review a 0 instead of
actually NAK'ing the submission. NAK'ed reviews based on style issues
force the submitter to adhere to someone else's unsubstantiated opinion
and slows down the entire contribution process while submissions are
reworked multiple times without any significant technical change. It's
also demoralizing for submitters to have their contributions NAK'ed for
reasons that are issues of opinion only, the submitter has to literally
submit [3].

[1] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bikeshedding

[2] Despite the best attempts of computer science researchers over the
years software development remains more of a craft than a science with
unambiguous rules yielding exactly one solution. Often there are many
valid approaches to solve a particular coding problem, the selection of
one approach often boils down to the personal preferences of the
craftsperson. This does not diminish the value of coding guidelines
gleaned from years of analyzing software issues, what it does mean is
those guidelines still leave plenty of room for different approaches and
no one is the arbiter of the "one and only correct way".

[3] to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.


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