[Python-Dev] Encouraging developers

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Tue Mar 6 10:52:48 CET 2007

Phil Thompson schrieb:
>>> 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?
> Please read what I said again. 

I did - I can't see where I misunderstood. You said you want feedback on
the patch even if it doesn't have test and doc changes ("before I add
those things"), and I said the only feedback you'll likely get is
"add test cases and doc changes".

> Yes, a patch must be reviewed before 
> submission. Yes, a patch when submitted must include docs and test cases. I'm 
> talking about the less formal process leading up to that point. The less 
> formal process has a much lower barrier to entry, requires much less effort 
> by the "reviewer", is the period during which the majority of the teaching 
> happens, and will result in a better quality final patch that will require 
> less effort to be put in to the final, formal review.

Here I'm not sure what you are talking about. How would that process be
executed? On python-dev? On the patches tracker?

It often happens that people write a bug report, and I respond
"yes, this is a bug, would you like to work on a patch?" They then
either ask "should I do it this or that way?", and then I give my
opinion. So this already happens - again, it's just that the people
don't talk much about it.

I can't see that the barrier at contributing is high. The number
of patch submissions and bug reports proves the contrary. Literally
hundreds of people contribute.

>> 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.
> Do you think this actually happens in practice? 

I wasn't talking in general, I was talking specifically about you
(Phil Thompson) here. If you really want to contribute in
*maintaining* Python, you are more than welcome. Several current
committers found their way into python-dev in the way you described,
and nearly nobody was ever turned away.


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