[tahoe-dev] patch review process

Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn zooko at zooko.com
Tue Oct 13 15:23:11 UTC 2009

Why review patches:

We want more patches to be contributed to Tahoe-LAFS.  Getting  
feedback on patches encourages contributors.  Patches languishing in  
the "waiting to be reviewed" set discourages them.  (By the way,  
something else that encourages them is users saying "Thank you.".)

Who can review patches:

Pretty much anyone reading this!  Knowledge of Python is helpful, but  
some patches are so simple that reviewing them is a reasonable task  
for a beginner who is just learning Python.  Some patches require  
more specialized knowledge to review, but most don't.

How to review patches:

1.  Go to http://allmydata.org .  Click on "View Tickets", which will  
take you to http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/wiki/ViewTickets .  Click  
on "tickets for review" which will take you to http://allmydata.org/ 
trac/tahoe/query?status=%21closed&order=priority&keywords=%7Ereview .

2.  You can read everything without registering, but to add comments  
or change tickets you have to be logged in.  Registering is quick and  
easy -- click the "Register" link at the top right of the page.

3.  Read tickets until you find one that you can review.

4.  (optional) Click "accept".  This marks you as the person  
reviewing this patch.  If you don't want to commit to this then you  
can skip this step.

5.  Read the patch until you understand all of the docs, tests, code  
and comments in it.  You can use the "Browse source" button at the  
top of the page to read the current versions of the files that the  
patch changes.

5.a.  If you can't understand the patch after spending some time on  
it, then say so in a comment on the ticket!  This might be taken as a  
reason to add documentation or comments or to refactor the code.  On  
the other hand, it might just be that you don't have enough context  
to understand the code.  That's okay too.

5.b.  If you find errors or omissions in the docs, tests, code or  
comments then write that down in the ticket, remove the "review"  
keyword from the keywords, and assign the ticket to someone other  
than yourself.  (That would be the original author of the patch, or  
someone who seems likely to fix the patch, or if you can't think of  
anyone better then assign it to me.)

5.c.  If you understand the patch and find no errors or omissions  
then remove the keyword "review", add the keyword "reviewed" and  
assign it to me.  I'll commit it to trunk.

6.  Feel good about yourself.  Thank you for helping with our little  
project attempting to improve the world!



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