[Bitcoin-development] Code review

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Fri Oct 4 10:30:07 UTC 2013

Git makes it easy to fork peoples work off and create long series of
commits that achieve some useful goal. That's great for many things.
Unfortunately, code review is not one of those things.

I'd like to make a small request - when submitting large, complex pieces of
work for review, please either submit it as one giant squashed change, or
be an absolute fascist about keeping commits logically clean and separated.
It really sucks to review things in sequence and then discover that some
code you spent some time thinking about or puzzling out got
deleted/rewritten/changed in a later commit. It also can make it harder to
review things when later code uses new APIs or behaviour changes introduced
in earlier commits - you have to either keep it all in your head, do lots
of tab switching, or do a squash yourself (in which case every reviewer
would have to manually do that).

On a related note, github seems to have lost the plot with regards to code
review - they are spending their time adding 3D renderers to their diff
viewer but not making basic improvements other tools had for years.

So, I'd like to suggest the idea of using Review Board:


It's an open source, dedicated code review tool used by lots of big name
companies for their internal work. It has git[hub] integration and a lot of
very neat features, like the ability to attach screenshots to reviews. Also
more basic ones, like side by side diffs. Branches can be and often are
submitted to the system as single reviews.

The company behind it (disclosure - written and run by a long time friend
of mine) offers hosting plans, but we could also host it on a Foundation
server instead.
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