[openstack-dev] [nova] patches that improve code quality
openstack at sheep.art.pl
Wed Mar 9 12:22:56 UTC 2016
Some of the code we have in Nova is admittedly hard to read and brittle.
This is true even though we cave excellent code review,
and the reviewers that deeply care for the quality of code that is being
merged. Some of this code has been there always, some got that way as a
result of bug fixes and patches that were intended to touch as little
code as possible, and some is just to bad judgment or mistakes.
Whatever the reason, such code accumulates and makes the program harder
to understand, to debug and to modify. The maintenance and development
costs rise. It's also less pleasant to work with such code base.
Cleaning up such code and rewriting it to be easier to understand and
more robust is a good practice that every programmer should be familiar
with. However, it's not always easy or even possible to do that while
working on a feature or a bugfix. If our patch includes a lot of changes
that are unrelated to the feature or bug at hand, it becomes harder to
understand and review, and even runs a risk of being rejected. It's also
easier to introduce bugs that way.
A good practice would be to make such changes in separate patches,
possibly also adding tests (where they are missing) showing that there
is no change in behavior. Such patches can be reviewed with special
attention to readability and robustness, and in the review there will be
often even further improvements. We end up with a better program and
easier (and more pleasant) work.
And now, finally, I can get to the point of this e-mail. I'm relatively
new to this project, but I found no way to direct the (precious)
attention of core reviewers to such patches. They are not bugs, neither
they are parts of any new feature, and so there is no list in Nova that
core reviewers look at where we could add such a patch. Admittedly, such
patches are not urgent -- the code works the same (or almost the same)
way without them -- but it would be nice to have some way of merging
them eventually, because they do make our lives easier in the long run.
So here's my question: what is the correct way to have such a patch
merged in Nova, and -- if there isn't one -- should we think about
making it easier?
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