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

Jesse Noller jnoller at gmail.com
Thu Sep 30 16:56:56 CEST 2010

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 10:52 AM,  <exarkun at twistedmatrix.com> wrote:
> On 02:47 pm, jnoller at gmail.com wrote:
>> 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.
> Of course, this is only true if the core developers *do* submit to the same
> rules.  Is anyone proposing that current core committers have all their work
> reviewed before it is accepted?
> (I am strongly in favor of this, but I don't think many core committers
> are.)
> Jean-Paul

I'll propose it, knowing full well I won't win. Code reviews have
saved my bacon on numerous occasions. The best unit tests on the
planet won't protect you against a fundamentally bad assumption or
logic error. Like I said - I think it helps "equalize" things. YMMV.

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