[openstack-dev] patches for simple typo fixes

Flavio Percoco flavio at redhat.com
Mon Sep 25 15:26:25 UTC 2017

On 25/09/17 09:28 -0400, Doug Hellmann wrote:
>Excerpts from Sean Dague's message of 2017-09-25 08:24:18 -0400:
>> On 09/25/2017 07:56 AM, Chris Dent wrote:
>> > On Fri, 22 Sep 2017, Paul Belanger wrote:
>> >
>> >> This is not a good example of encouraging anybody to contribute to the
>> >> project.
>> >
>> > Yes. This entire thread was a bit disturbing to read. Yes, I totally
>> > agree that mass patches that do very little are a big cost to
>> > reviewer and CI time but a lot of the responses sound like: "go away
>> > you people who don't understand our special culture and our
>> > important work".
>> >
>> > That's not a good look.
>> >
>> > Matt's original comment is good in and of itself: I saw a thing,
>> > let's remember to curtail this stuff and do it in a nice way.
>> >
>> > But then we generate a long thread about it. It's odd to me that
>> > these threads sometimes draw more people out then discussions about
>> > actually improving the projects.
>> >
>> > It's also odd that if OpenStack were small and differently
>> > structured, any self-respecting maintainer would be happy to see
>> > a few typo fixes and generic cleanups. Anything to push the quality
>> > forward is nice. But because of the way we do review and because of
>> > the way we do CI these things are seen as expensive distractions[1].
>> > We're old and entrenched enough now that our tooling enforces our
>> > culture and our culture enforces our tooling.
>> >
>> > [1] Note that I'm not denying they are expensive distractions nor
>> > that they need to be managed as such. They are, but a lot of that
>> > is on us.
>> I was trying to ignore the thread in the hopes it would die out quick.
>> But torches and pitchforks all came out from the far corners, so I'm
>> going to push back on that a bit.
>> I'm not super clear why there is always so much outrage about these
>> patches. They are fixing real things. When I encounter them, I just
>> approve them to get them merged quickly and not backing up the review
>> queue, using more CI later if they need rebasing. They are fixing real
>> things. Maybe there is a CI cost, but the faster they are merged the
>> less likely someone else is to propose it in the future, which keeps
>> down the CI cost. And if we have a culture of just fixing typos later,
>> then we spend less CI time on patches the first time around with 2 or 3
>> iterations catching typos.
>> I think the concern is the ascribed motive for why people are putting
>> these up. That's fine to feel that people are stat padding (and that too
>> many things are driven off metrics). But, honestly, that's only
>> important if we make it important. Contributor stats are always going to
>> be pretty much junk stats. They are counting things to be the same which
>> are wildly variable in meaning (number of patches, number of Lines of
>> Code).
>> My personal view is just merge things that fix things that are wrong,
>> don't care why people are doing it. If it gets someone a discounted
>> ticket somewhere, so be it. It's really not any skin off our back in the
>> process.
>> If people are deeply concerned about CI resources, step one is to get
>> some better accounting into the existing system to see where resources
>> are currently spent, and how we could ensure that time is fairly spread
>> around to ensure maximum productivity by all developers.
>>     -Sean
>I'm less concerned with the motivation of someone submitting the
>patches than I am with their effect. Just like the situation we had
>with the bug squash days a year or so ago, if we had a poorly timed
>set of these trivial patches coming in at our feature freeze deadline,
>it would be extremely disruptive. So to me the fact that we're
>seeing them in large batches means we have people who are not fully
>engaged with the community and don't understand the impact they're
>having. My goal is to reach out and try to improve that engagement,
>and try to help them become more fully constructive contributors.

I agree with the sentinment that these patches might be coming from folks that
are not fully engaged with the community but they won't stop comming.

There's a risk behind this mass submitted patches but I agree with Sean's
comment that they are still fixing things. Once they've been submitted, I think
we're better off merging them if we're not in a release phase.

A more agressive fix would be to limit the amount of patches a single person can
propose in a given day and in a specific period of time (or forever) but this
might not be possible or not exactly what we want as I would rather work with
the community.


Flavio Percoco
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