[webkit-dev] to reitveld or not to reitveld

Ojan Vafai ojan at chromium.org
Fri Jun 5 19:25:40 PDT 2009

This is what I meant by "light-weight" integration. All the review
information would be reflected in the bugzilla bug. You would never be
required to use reitveld for anything.

We would be able to:
1. Add a link to bugzilla that would take you to the reitveld code review
and upload the patch to reitveld if it hasn't been uploaded already.
2. Have all comments published in reitveld be posted to the bug.
3. Have checkboxes in reitveld for r+, r- that would update bugzilla.
4. I think we can even have comments made directly to bugzilla be reflected
in reitveld by having a bot that monitors bugzilla update emails.

A review tool like reitveld is quite a bit of work. Adding similar
functionality to bugzilla itself is a non-trivial amount of work. I don't
see what integrating this functionality any more tightly into bugzilla buys
us that is worth the order(s) of magnitude more effort that approach would


On Sat, Jun 6, 2009 at 11:02 AM, Darren VanBuren <onekopaka at gmail.com>wrote:

> Surprisingly, the bug isn't a duplicate, or if there is a dupe, it isn't
> filed correctly.
> But I agree that any code review tool should be integrated with
> bugs.webkit.org, otherwise there would be a huge disorganized mess and it
> wouldn't be any better.
> Bugzilla wouldn't be hard to extend for this purpose, just adding a field
> for review status and then making whatever code review tool you chose update
> Bugzilla solves (b).
> Some modifications in the tool could also make it attach the patches to a
> bug, and you could also update any field in the bug.
> I mean, retiveld seems like a wonderful tool, it seems like something that
> would extend Bugzilla quite nicely. Pushing data to Bugzilla can simply be
> done with XML-RPC according to this page on bugzilla.org:
> http://www.bugzilla.org/docs/tip/en/html/api/Bugzilla/WebService/Server/XMLRPC.htmland there's plenty of XML libraries for Python you could use to work over
>   Darren VanBuren
> onekopaka at gmail.com
> ====================
> http://oks.tumblr.com/
> On Jun 5, 2009, at 6:21 PM, David Kilzer wrote:
> I think this is a great direction to move in, but (IMO) any such tool
> should be tightly integrated with bugs.webkit.org so that (a) you don't
> have to post the same patch more than once, (b) the review status of the
> patch is visible in bugs.webkit.org without clicking on a link and (c)
> it's easy to switch between reviewing the patch and updating the bug itself.
> I just filed a Bugzilla bug about adding such a feature to Bugzilla itself
> (although I wouldn't be surprised if it's a dupe):
> Bugzilla needs better patch review process with annotations and versioned
> patches
> <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=496670>
> Dave
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Jeremy Orlow <jorlow at chromium.org>
> *To:* Ojan Vafai <ojan at chromium.org>
> *Cc:* WebKit Development <webkit-dev at lists.webkit.org>
> *Sent:* Friday, June 5, 2009 5:08:47 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [webkit-dev] to reitveld or not to reitveld
> For what it's worth, I definitely think a tool like reitveld would help the
> code review process.  Inline comments and more context than the couple lines
> the diff provides are really, really helpful.
> On Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM, Ojan Vafai <ojan at chromium.org> wrote:
>> Sorry in advance for the long email. I'm trying to be thorough.
>> There's been a lot of discussion on #webkit about possibly using a code
>> review tool like reitveld for webkit reviews. There's been various
>> suggestions and a few misunderstandings, so it seems worth having a more
>> formal discussion about this with the larger WebKit community.
>> The things I'd like to assess here are:
>> 1. Pros/Cons of using a system like reitveld. I listed some below. Please
>> add any that I missed.
>> 2. Whether the WebKit community is interested in pursuing something like this.
>> 3. If there is interest, what is the best way to move forward.
>> It's a code review tool. Reitveld doesn't allow you to do anything that is
>> impossible with the current review process, however, it makes the review
>> process more efficient and less error-prone. As such, it makes it easier and
>> less time-consuming to do good, thorough code reviews.
>> The basic gist of reitveld is that it allows you to put comments inline
>> and send them all in one chunk. Then it lets the reviewee easily respond to
>> each comment individually and send all the responses in one chunk.
>> http://codereview.chromium.org/119103
>> Note that you can view the patch in each version that was uploaded and
>> that you can diff between versions. Also, if a comment was made in the
>> version you were looking at, then you can see all the comments/responses.
>> To see this nicely, under "Delta from patch set" in patch set 3, click on
>> 2. That is where most of the comments in this review were made. For
>> example, http://codereview.chromium.org/119103/diff2/14:27/29. You can
>> see all the comments and responses along with the diff in the patch to see
>> that the reviewer comments were implemented as intended.
>> Keyboard shortcuts to try out:
>> -n/p to switch between diff chunks
>> -shift n/p to switch between comments
>> -j/k to go to the next/previous file
>> *Please don't actually click the "Publish all my drafts" button on the
>> publish page as you'll be modifying a real code review.*
>> Other things to try
>> -try the side-by-side diff and the unified diff views
>> -adding comments (double click)
>> -replying to comments
>> -go to the publish page (click the publish link or type "m")
>> Also note that the "Committed" URL is automatically added when the patch
>> is committed and the reitveld issue is marked closed. So there isn't extra
>> overhead in maintaining list of outstanding code reviews.
>> Here's the process for trying out reitveld with a webkit patch. The
>> current workflow is a bit janky, but some scripting and some simple reitveld
>> fixes would make this a lot more natural and automated (e.g. chromium uses
>> commandline "gcl upload" to put up a new patch).
>> 1. Find a non-git patch
>> 2. Go to http://codereview.chromium.org/new
>> 3. Login with a Google account (e.g. any gmail or Google search account)
>> 4. On that page, type in a subject and paste in the URL to the patch in
>> the URL field.
>> 5. Click "Create Issue"
>> There's a couple apparent bugs that are easily fixable:
>> 1. The ChangeLog files don't get downloaded correct, so the diffs don't
>> work. This is an AppEngine problem that Chromium works around with the gcl
>> upload script.
>> 2. With an old patch there are often diff chunk mistmatches, which breaks
>> the side-by-side diff view (you can use the unified diff in those cases).
>> For the reviewer:
>> -easier to write thorough review comments since adding comments is so
>> light-weight
>> -easier to make sure that all review comments actually got implemented
>> For the reviewee:
>> -easier to see which line the reviewer's comment addresses
>> -easier to make sure you've completed all the reviewer's comments (you can
>> mark them as "done" in reitveld as you go)
>> For everyone:
>> -efficient keyboard navigation (e.g. j/k to navigation between diff chunks
>> and n/p to navigate between files
>> -easier to follow the progression of a code review and see what changed
>> over the course of the review
>>  -shows image files, so you can see before/after before commit
>> CONS (most of these are easy to fix/improve)
>> -There's no pretty printed view of all the files in the patch at once that
>> lets you insert comments
>> -The UI is a bit cluttered
>> -It takes using it for a couple patches before you're totally comfortable
>> with it
>> -Currently doesn't work with diffs generated by git
>> -Reitveld's current implementation requires running on AppEngine
>> -A couple issues with reitveld on appengine that Chromium uses a script to
>> workaround (line-endings differences and large files like ChangeLogs don't
>> upload correclty).
>> As far as reitveld versus another code review tool, I don't have strong
>> opinions. I hear http://www.review-board.org/ is<http://www.review-board.org/%C2%A0is>
>>  good, but I haven't used it. One advantage of using reitveld is that a
>> lot of the work on reitveld was done by Chromium team members and so
>> modifying it to meet WebKit needs (e.g. running an instance that isn't tied
>> to Chromium, changing the UI, etc.) should be relatively painless.
>> I think the transition to using a new tool would need to be gradual, so
>> that people can continue use the current webkit process and not be forced
>> into using a new tool. Like using git vs. svn, it ought to be possible to
>> use either process without putting an extra burden on the webkit community.
>> If we agree that something like reitveld would be good for the webkit
>> community and wanted to make reitveld possible to use with the current
>> WebKit workflow, we *could* work out some of the simple kinks listed above
>> and do a lightweight integration with bugzilla such that any updates to
>> reitveld are reflected in bugzilla (but not vice versa). There was pushback
>> to this on #webkit, but it seems to me like the simplest non-invasive way to
>> let the webkit community try this out to see if it's worth investing more
>> time into.
>> That said, I'm totally open towards other approaches that aren't an
>> unreasonable amount of effort.
>> Ojan
>> P.S. For those interested, here's a talk about Mondrian<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMql3Di4Kgc> [Reitveld's
>> closed-source predecessor] and how Google moved from text-diff base reviews
>> to Mondrian.
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