[OpenLayers-Dev] Review Board - code review tool

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Wed May 7 10:45:36 EDT 2008

On Tue, May 06, 2008 at 05:16:09PM -0400, Paul Spencer wrote:
> Devs,
> I came across the following project the other day and thought it may  
> be of interest to the OpenLayers project for facilitating the code  
> review process that we use for trunk submissions.  I haven't  
> personally used it yet so I don't know if it would help or just get in  
> the way.  We are going to set it up on our internal trac/svn and try  
> it out sometime soon.
> http://code.google.com/p/reviewboard/

(This is actually the third time ReviewBoard has been pointed out to me
in the past 72 hours -- apparently their marketing team is doing a great
job ;))

I've been looking for something like reviewboard for a long time. In
reality, what I'd like is for review-board like functionality to be
integrated in trac, but ignoring that, something like reviewboard seems
like a good idea for larger patches.

I think that it is total overkill for most changes: commas don't need
new reviews, and our existing review mechanism catches those. However,
bigger patches -- like the canas renderer -- it would be nice to be able
to comment on reiews.

However, my experience with the code thus far has not been positive.
I'm not able to save a review, nor publish it, I get errors in either
case. It seems like there is a lot of polish here, but that it's been
polished in a specific setup, and there are some things that are not
particularly armored against people not knowing what they are doing.

Additionally, the need to install both reviewboard and Django from SVN
concerns me; I don't really like doing that. However, that's not a major
concern, just a minor one.

My first hour playing with review board has been instructive: there is a
lot of userfriendliness, but it seems that there is some lack of
understanding on my part or some bugs under the hood that are biting me.
With that being the case, at the moment, I am against recommending use
of ReviewBoard for any thing for OpenLayers: our existing revie
mechanism works well for the most part, and although having the ability
to comment on patches directly would be nice, it's simply not important
enough to spend the time working through a somewhat ill-baked review
tool at this point.

Christopher Schmidt

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