[Python-Dev] Encouraging developers

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Tue Mar 6 07:00:17 CET 2007

Phil Thompson schrieb:
>>> Any ideas for fixing this problem?
>> A better patch-tracker, better procedures for reviewing patches surounding
>> this new tracker, one or more proper dvcs's for people to work off of. I'm
>> not sure about 'identifying core developers' as we're all volunteers, with
>> dayjobs for the most part, and only a few people seem to care enough about
>> python as a whole.
> I don't think that that is true. I think a lot of people care, but many can't 
> do anything about because the barrier to entry is too great.

He was talking about the committers specifically who don't care about 
Python as-a-whole, and I think this is true. But I also believe that
many contributors don't "care" about Python as-a-whole, in the sense
that they are uninterested in learning about implementation details of
libraries they will never use. What they do care about is the problems
they have, and they do contribute patches for them.

>> While submitting patches is good, there's a lot more to it than just
>> submitting the 5-line code change to submit a bug/feature, and reviewing
>> takes a lot of time and effort.
> So there is something wrong there as well.
>> I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for 
>> help from the submitters like we do, or ask them to write tests and docs
>> and such.
> Of course it's not unreasonable. I would expect to be told that a patch must 
> have tests and docs before it will be finally accepted. However, before I add 
> those things to the patch I would like some timely feedback from those with 
> more experience that my patch is going in the right direction.

This cannot work. It is very difficult to review a patch to fix a 
presumed bug if there is no test case. You might not be able to 
reproduce the patch without a test case at all - how could you then
know whether the patch actually fixes the bug?

So I really think patches should be formally complete before being
submitted. This is an area were anybody can review: you don't need
to be an expert to see that no test cases are contributed to a
certain patch.

If you really want to learn and help, review a few patches, to see
what kinds of problems you detect, and then post your findings to
python-dev. People then will comment on whether they agree with your
review, and what additional changes they like to see.


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