[openstack-dev] [ptl] code churn and questionable changes

Amrith Kumar amrith at tesora.com
Wed Sep 21 11:56:06 UTC 2016

Of late I've been seeing a lot of rather questionable changes that appear to be getting blasted out across multiple projects; changes that cause considerable code churn, and don't (IMHO) materially improve the quality of OpenStack.

I'd love to provide a list of the changes that triggered this email but I know that this will result in a rat hole where we end up discussing the merits of the individual items on the list and lose sight of the bigger picture. That won't help address the question I have below in any way, so I'm at a disadvantage of having to describe my issue in abstract terms.

Here's how I characterize these changes (changes that meet one or more of these criteria):

-    Contains little of no information in the commit message (often just a single line)

-    Makes some generic statement like "Do X not Y", "Don't use Z", "Make ABC better" with no further supporting information

-    Fail (literally) every single CI job, clearly never tested by the developer

-    Gets blasted across many projects, literally tens with often the same kind of questionable (often wrong) change

-    Makes a stylistic python improvement that is not enforced by any check (causes a cottage industry of changes making the same correction every couple of months)

-    Reverses some previous python stylistic improvement with no clear reason (another cottage industry)

I've tried to explain it to myself as enthusiasm, and a desire to contribute aggressively; I've lapsed into cynicism at times and tried to explain it as gaming the numbers system, but all that is merely rationalization and doesn't help.

Over time, the result generally is that these developers' changes get ignored. And that's not a good thing for the community as a whole. We want to be a welcoming community and one which values all contributions so I'm looking for some suggestions and guidance on how one can work with contributors to try and improve the quality of these changes, and help the contributor feel that their changes are valued by the project? Other more experienced PTL's, ex-PTL's, long time open-source-community folks, I'm seriously looking for suggestions and ideas.

Any and all input is welcome, do other projects see this, how do you handle it, is this normal, ...



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstack.org/pipermail/openstack-dev/attachments/20160921/c3bc37fe/attachment.html>

More information about the OpenStack-dev mailing list