CI system maintainability

Daniel Vrátil dvratil at
Thu Mar 28 10:27:44 GMT 2019

On Thursday, March 28, 2019 9:50:47 AM CET Kevin Ottens wrote:
> Hello,
> On Thursday, 28 March 2019 09:41:29 CET Luca Beltrame wrote:
> > In data giovedì 28 marzo 2019 09:29:22 CET, Kevin Ottens ha scritto:
> > > at your screen or pair with you" in the past. Clearly this compromise
> > > gets
> > > somewhat exploited and that's especially bad in the case of a fragile
> > > and
> > > central component like KDE PIM.
> > 
> > I'm not sure I agree. I can't speak for seasoned developers, but I've
> > found
> > myself in a situation (more than once) where the fix is trivial (compile
> > error, missing ";", etc) and being forced to go through review would (IMO)
> > unnecessarily raise friction.

This is partially a problem of tooling IMO - review for even a trivial change 
will not cause any friction, if the tooling makes it super-easy and natural 
part of your workflow (and then you can always poke someone on IRC "hey, do 
you have 5 seconds for this super-simple review?").

Using arc with Phab is a bit annoying, so I can understand people fighting 
this. Gitlab with their "click this link to turn your commit into a merge 
request" is much better, plus it can be merged by the reviewer with a single 
click so you as a developer don't even need to care about the MR anymore.

> I don't fully disagree with this (although I'd have stories on nefarious
> typos even for what was supposed to be a "trivial fix"). But it becomes a
> question of trade-off, IOW "how hurtful to the project mandatory reviews?"
> vs "how hurtful to the project a central component being very regularly
> broken?".
> I'd argue we're loosing more with the current state of PIM than we'd loose
> with mandatory reviews.

I'm completely fine with mandatory code review for everything and I'd be happy 
to have this in PIM. I think the biggest problem in PIM to overcome will be 
finding the reviewers - I dare say I'm currently the only one who has at least 
a little idea about what's going on in Akonadi, so getting for instance 
Laurent to review my Akonadi patches might be hard - same for me reviewing 
Laurent's KMail patches. This will require non-trivial amount of effort for 
all members of the community to gain deeper understanding of the other 
components within the project and a willingness to step up and do a code 
review even if they don't feel 100% comfortable with the code base. But I 
believe that in the long run the benefits clearly out-weight the cost.

Btw we practice this policy at work and I do truly appreciate it, not only as 
a huge learning experience but so many times just having a second pair of eyes 
to glance over my code has revealed issues that sometimes almost make me 
question my career choice as a programmer :-) I think this is especially 
important for projects like PIM, where most of us contribute at work in 
between waiting for CI and replying to 15 Slack threads or in the evening 
after a long day....


> Regards.

Daniel Vrátil | dvratil at
IRC: dvratil on Freenode (#kde, #kontact, #akonadi, #fedora-kde)

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