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Review/Merge queue


some of you have witnessed it, it's difficult to have a patch merged
in dpkg. There are multiple reasons for this but one of the most annoying
one is that patches are not reviewed in any timely fashion. Small patches
tend to be reviewed from time to time but bigger ones or those touching
core parts tend to linger around a long time...

I would like us to try to improve on this regard. That's why I created a
list of outstanding contributions and I sorted it in 3 parts:
- the stuff that is mostly ready to be merged: this must be reviewed and
  merged by me or guillem
- the stuff that needs to reviewed: this must be reviewed but anyone can
  help reviewing by following guidelines described on the wiki page (those
  guidelines can also help the people who submit code in order to see what
  we require)
- the stuff that needs more work: previous reviews identified that
  the patch was not ready to be merged, more work is needed.

Those lists are here: http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/ReviewMergeQueue

I filled the initial lists with bugs tagged patches and I removed the
"patch" tag for all the bugs that have been classified in "needs work".
If you have pending code to review/merge, please add it to the list.

I would like that everybody that submits code also participates in the
review of the work submitted by others so that most of the code gets at
least a prelimary review instead of sitting idle in the BTS waiting for a
dpkg maintainer to show up.

How you can help:
- pick an entry in the "Review queue" (preferrably starting at the top, we
  want to get them off the list one by one), grab the latest patch/branch,
  review it, test it, submit your comments back in the bug or on the
  mailing list (and cc the proposer, i.e. the person that is trying to
  push the patch forward)
  if the review revealed problems to resolve, move it to "needs work"
  if several reviews did not found any problem, move it to the "merge
- pick an entry in the "Needs work" list and try to do the required work
  so that the patch is acceptable

I would really like to have an empty review queue most of the time.

I want to be able to start merging more stuff in order to not let Guillem
alone on this front but I don't have his experience with the C codebase of
dpkg so I need supplementary external reviews and not only mine. I will
also require non-regression tests in some cases to gain confidence that
I'm not merging code that breaks current functionnality.

If you have suggestions or ideas, go ahead. This is a very basic framework
to organize code reviews, it can surely be extended. For example, do we
want to record on the wiki some sorts of review votes showing
approvals/disapprovals of reviewers and have rules on the number of
reviewers required to move it to "merge queue" ?

Raphaël Hertzog

Like what I do? Sponsor me: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/05/5-years-of-freexian/
My Debian goals: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/09/debian-related-goals-for-2010/

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