[openstack-dev] [hacking] rules for removal

Mark McLoughlin markmc at redhat.com
Tue Jun 24 19:49:52 UTC 2014

On Tue, 2014-06-24 at 09:51 -0700, Clint Byrum wrote:
> Excerpts from Monty Taylor's message of 2014-06-24 06:48:06 -0700:
> > On 06/22/2014 02:49 PM, Duncan Thomas wrote:
> > > On 22 June 2014 14:41, Amrith Kumar <amrith at tesora.com> wrote:
> > >> In addition to making changes to the hacking rules, why don't we mandate also
> > >> that perceived problems in the commit message shall not be an acceptable
> > >> reason to -1 a change.
> > > 
> > > -1.
> > > 
> > > There are some /really/ bad commit messages out there, and some of us
> > > try to use the commit messages to usefully sort through the changes
> > > (i.e. I often -1 in cinder a change only affects one driver and that
> > > isn't clear from the summary).
> > > 
> > > If the perceived problem is grammatical, I'm a bit more on board with
> > > it not a reason to rev a patch, but core reviewers can +2/A over the
> > > top of a -1 anyway...
> > 
> > 100% agree. Spelling and grammar are rude to review on - especially
> > since we have (and want) a LOT of non-native English speakers. It's not
> > our job to teach people better grammar. Heck - we have people from
> > different English backgrounds with differing disagreements on what good
> > grammar _IS_
> > 
> We shouldn't quibble over _anything_ grammatical in a commit message. If
> there is a disagreement about it, the comments should be ignored. There
> are definitely a few grammar rules that are loose and those should be
> largely ignored.
> However, we should correct grammar when there is a clear solution, as
> those same people who do not speak English as their first language are
> likely to be confused by poor grammar.
> We're not doing it to teach grammar. We're doing it to ensure readability.

The importance of clear English varies with context, but commit messages
are a place where we should try hard to just let it go, particularly
with those who do not speak English as their first language.

Commit messages stick around forever and it's important that they are
useful, but they will be read by a small number of people who are going
to be in a position to spend a small amount of time getting over
whatever dissonance is caused by a typo or imperfect grammar.

I think specs are pretty similar and don't warrant much additional
grammar nitpicking. Sure, they're longer pieces of text and slightly
more people will rely on them for information, but they're not intended
to be complete documentation.

Where grammar is so poor that readers would be easily misled in
important ways, then sure that should be fixed. But there comes a point
when we're no longer working to avoid confusion and instead just being
pendants. Taking issue[1] with this:

  "whatever scaling mechanism Heat and we end up going with."

because it has a "dangling preposition" is an example of going way
beyond the point of productive pedantry IMHO :-)


[1] - https://review.openstack.org/#/c/97939/5/specs/juno/remove-mergepy.rst

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