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From Aidan Skinner <>
Subject Re: Review-Then-Commit
Date Thu, 12 Nov 2009 22:46:49 GMT
On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 3:16 AM, Greg Stein <> wrote:

> Not a "strong opinion", but I think that RTC hampers the free-flow of
> ideas, experimentation, evolution, and creativity. It is a damper on
> expressivity. You maneuver bureaucracy to get a change in. CTR is
> about making a change and discussing it. But you get *forward
> progress*.

I think this entirely depends on how quickly you get an R. I've worked
for $BIGCOs that do CTR and have really stifling cultures and
$SPUNKYSTARTUPs that do RTC and have huge forward momentum. Momentum
which is more sustainable because the explicit review means at least
one other person knows what it is that you're doing so there's some
instant knowledge sharing to reduce the risk of blind alleys and the
bus factor.

> I also feel that RTC will tend towards *exclusivity* rather than the
> Apache ideal of *inclusivity*. That initial review is a social and
> mental burden for new committers. People are afraid enough of
> submitting patches and trying to join into a development community,
> without making them run through a front-loaded process.

I'd flip this around and look at it from the PoV of a
not-yet-committer. RTC means everybody goes through basically the same
process - (raise jira), hack, submit patch, patch gets reviewed, patch
gets committed regardless of whether they have a commit bit or not.

CTR means there is a qualitative difference in workflows between
committers and non-committers.

> I've participated in both styles of development. RTC is *stifling*. I
> would never want to see that in any Apache community for its routine
> development (branch releases are another matter).

I'm sorry you found it that way, I don't think it has to be that way though. :/

> My opinion is that it is very unfortunate that Cassandra feels that it
> cannot trust its developers with a CTR model, and pushes RTC as its
> methodology. The group-mind smashes down the creativity of the
> individual, excited, free-thinking contributor.

I think that sort of group mentality is problematic regardless of
review model, it's perhaps a bit more commonly found in RTC but I
don't think it's inherent to the system (you can insert your own Monty
Python reference here if you want).

The main benefit I've always found for RTC (beside being slightly
flatter, as outlined above), is that it means that the review actually
happens and can be seen to have happened. CTR often falls by the
wayside, even with tooling. For Qpid 0.5 we used Jira workflow to try
and support this and still ended up with something like 50 jiras in
"ready to review" state. While it's possible that somebody read the
code and couldn't be bothered to click the button, I think it's much
more likely that they're basically unreviewed. There's also a number
of Jiras that are essentially review comments that have been kicking
around for ages.

A number of large, venerable projects run with RTC for a number of
reasons. I know a lot of people dislike it due to prior bad
experience, that it stifles them, holds up progress etc. To them I say ;)

- Aidan
Apache Qpid - AMQP, JMS, other messaging love
"A witty saying proves nothing" - Voltaire

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