[webkit-dev] Comment on the bug & email author/reviewer before reverting a patch

Geoffrey Garen ggaren at apple.com
Fri Jul 11 14:22:47 PDT 2014

> My strong preference is immediate reaction. It doesn't always have to be a rollout, sometimes an issue can be fixed, or some tests can even be temporarily skipped - just make the tree green and stable for everyone else, as quickly as possible. But if the author is not available, and the bot watcher doesn't have a better fix (or is simply overwhelmed with multiple regressions being under investigation at once), I think that immediate rollout should be considered normal.

I agree.

I used to think that it was rude to roll out a patch right away, and it bothered me when people did it to me. It is inconvenient to rebase and re-land a patch, re-close a bug, have roll-ins and roll-outs in svn history, and so on.

However, over time I’ve become convinced that the value of a green bot and viable archived builds is just so high that it’s worth the inconvenience.

These issues are often a judgement call. But if I had to articulate a firm rule, I would say something like this: “A bot watcher should take immediate action to resolve a failure. Before rolling out a patch, a bot watcher should attempt to contact the patch author and/or reviewer. The burden is on the patch author and/or reviewer to prove that the failure will be resolved in short order.”

In other words, I don’t think the burden should be on the bot watcher to prove that he or she has waited long enough. It’s too easy for politeness to red the tree, and it’s too hard — especially for new bot watchers — to overcome good manners in order to do what is necesary.

If you land a patch, and you don’t want it rolled out, be sure to monitor IRC, email, and/or the bots, and you’ll have a good time. Otherwise, accept a roll out. This seems like a reasonable tradeoff to me, which each engineer can negotiate depending on his or her needs at a given time.

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