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Subject: Re: [boost] Improving review process
From: Jeff Garland (jeff_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-01-14 08:29:16

Dave Abrahams wrote:
> At Thu, 13 Jan 2011 21:54:46 -0500,
> Edward Diener wrote:
>> On 1/13/2011 9:30 PM, Rene Rivera wrote:
>>> On 1/13/2011 2:25 PM, Edward Diener wrote:
>>>> Once again I will say it although I do not know how to get Boost to
>>>> change the way it presently does things with reviews: More than one
>>>> review should go on at any one time and the period for a review should
>>>> be much longer ( I favor one month ) to give possible reviewers more
>>>> time to look at and review seriously a library. Imagine 3 or 4 reviews
>>>> during each month period. That should relieve a few bottlenecks.
>>> +1
>>>> Finally another GMane NG/mailing list for just reviews would give those
>>>> interested in reviewing libraries a better focus on reviews and their
>>>> responses. Call it the Boost Reviews mailing list and an appropriate
>>>> NG.
>>> That might address one of the problems I had as a review manager,
>>> mentioned it briefly on IRC today. The biggest pain of the review was
>>> sorting out all the emails, it takes a lot of effort & time. Especially
>>> since it was not just the reviews themselves, but all the ensuing
>>> discussions.
>> I think reviews tend to get lost amid the other issues brought up on
>> this NG, and therefore a separate mailing list/GMane NG would make it
>> easier to be aware, review, and respond to just reviews. This would
>> especially be true if there were 3 or 4 reviews going on at the same
>> time over a longer period.
> In my vision, the reviews for a library are comments on a wordpress
> article, and the library's documentation links to the review article.

I'd actually like to suggest something that might be more direct. Based on a
recommendation from fellow boosters at BoostCon last year we acquired and have
been using a web based code review tool for the last 10 months. The impact of
this tool has been a dramatic and radical increase in review quality over the
email system we had been using -- in large part because all
comments/discussion are attached to the actual source code directly for all to
see. The tool provides supports the longer review model since someone looking
in week 3 of the review can trivially look at all the review comment
discussions to that point directly in context with the code. Authors can also
update code during the review to address issues and the comment context (and
prior versions are maintained). Registered reviewers can also receive email
notification when other reviewers comment, etc, etc. Point is, it's a
collaboration tool built for code reviews and it works well.

The company that provides the tool allows for free use of the tool by open
source projects -- so it's something should be possible for boost. That said,
there will be work here to coordinate with the company, setup the boost space
and review users, etc. The tool is also highly configurable so we'd have to
establish some usage policies and such. All items that we would have to
address, but I doubt any are a show stoppers. Course we likely would have to
allow folks that want to provide email reviews to continue that way, but
overall once you go down this road you won't go back to email.

Note that I'm not mentioning the name of the tool just yet because I don't
want to violate our 'advertising policies' on the list. If there's interest,
I can make initial contact with company and get/post the details on how it
would work. I was planning to propose this at BoostCon, but now that it's
come up we should start the process now if folks agree.


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