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Subject: Re: [boost] Improving review process
From: Dave Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-01-14 08:57:23

At Fri, 14 Jan 2011 06:29:16 -0700,
Jeff Garland wrote:
> > 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.

I think you're being overly cautious. Atlassian?

> 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.

Using a code review tool is an awesome idea. Many reviews are not
attached to code, but you can put review comments in documentation
just as well.

A couple of things to consider:

1. We'd still need a place for overall assessments that don't pertain
   to specific details.

2. I know this is a bold predicition, but I think we will be
   transitioning to GitHub. It has an enormous momentum in the open
   source world, is responsive, and will continue to make a lot more
   sense as Boost is modularized. GitHub already supports code
   review. I think I'd rather go with a tool that requires absolutely
   no sysadmin on our part, is a known quantity to many already, etc.

Dave Abrahams
BoostPro Computing

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