Patch Pilot report

Martin Pool mbp at
Mon Nov 23 08:36:44 GMT 2009

2009/11/23 Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen at>:
> Andrew Bennetts writes:
>  > I just finished the first round of patch piloting[.]
>  > Robert's doing this week[.]
> Thank you, and TIA to Robert!
>  > I took a "just do it" approach to piloting patches.
> That's not really what I expected of a patch pilot ...
>  > If the changes required were fairly small, or even moderate, it
>  > usually seemed to me to be easier to just make the tweak and write
>  > the missing tests myself, rather than teach and cajole the
>  > contributors to do themselves.
> ... agreed, "teach and cajole" is expensive.  "Suggest and teach if
> interested" is less so, and a real investment in the future.  But
> that's just theory: is it worth it in your opinion, accounting for the
> fact that it surely means fewer patches are landed per pilot?

The theory underneath this is that many people (on any project,
however welcoming) are just going to send one patch and then go about
their business, and even the nicest teaching of how to add tests is a
waste of everyone's time.  If people are interested in writing tests
or are going to do multiple patches then it's worth them learning how
that works.

>  > Also, I deliberately chose patches from new contributors over
>  > regulars.
> I'm not sure I like the sound of that.  My understanding was that the
> patch pilot was supposed to help less experienced and/or one-off
> contributors to deal with the relatively technical aspects (proper
> docs and tests, for example).  That may be a misunderstanding, but you
> see where I'm going: if one is needed to get regulars past the
> Charybdis of PQM and the Scylla of committers too busy to review,
> there's a constricted bottleneck that needs shattering.

Maybe you're misunderstanding?  He meant he he was helping new
contributors, which seems to be what you want.

Martin <>

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