[Python-Dev] We should be using a tool for code reviews

Jesse Noller jnoller at gmail.com
Thu Sep 30 16:47:11 CEST 2010

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> I would like to recommend that the Python core developers start using
> a code review tool such as Rietveld or Reviewboard. I don't really
> care which tool we use (I'm sure there are plenty of pros and cons to
> each) but I do think we should get out of the stone age and start
> using a tool for the majority of our code reviews.
> While I would personally love to see Rietveld declared the official
> core Python code review tool, I realize that since I wrote as a Google
> engineer and it is running on Google infrastructure (App Engine), I
> can't be fully objective about the tool choice -- even though it is
> open source, has several non-Googler maintainers, and can be run
> outside App Engine as well.
> But I do think that using a specialized code review tool rather than
> unstructured email plus a general-purpose issue tracker can hugely
> improve developer performance and also increase community
> participation. (A code review tool makes it much more convenient for a
> senior reviewer to impart their wisdom to a junior developer without
> appearing judgmental or overbearing.)
> See also this buzz thread:
> http://www.google.com/buzz/115212051037621986145/At6Rj82Kret/When-will-the-Python-dev-community-start-using
> --
> --Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)

Regardless of the tool(s) used, code reviews are a fantastic
equalizer. If you have long time, experienced developers "submitting"
to the same rules that newer contributors have to follow then it helps
remove the idea that there is special treatment occurring.
Additionally, a lot of people are terrified of code reviews as they
view it as a "public flogging" - holding everyone to the same
standards, and showing this is not the case helps fight this

Not to mention; there's a lot to be learned from doing them on both
sides. At work, I learn about chunks of code I might not have
otherwise known about or approaches to a problem I'd never considered.
I sort of drank the kool-aid.

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