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Proposal: Improving patch tracking and review using Rietveld


At Google we use a code review tool which was open sourced a couple of
years ago: Rietveld
(http://code.google.com/appengine/articles/rietveld.html).

The best way of thinking about it is "bugzilla for patches".  The
system creates an entry for every patch submitted, provides a web tool
for manipulating the patch (comments, different views of the diff,
highlighting, etc) and it also has an email gateway.

We have discussed patch tracking mechanisms in the past, and none so
far has taken hold.  The reason why I like Rietveld is that it doesn't
really matter whether we all switch to using it at once:

1- Rietveld always send the patch sent to it to gcc-patches@ (provided
the submitter added gcc-patches to the CC list).
2- The whole trail of discussion on the patch also get sent to
gcc-patches and everyone else is CC'd in it.
3- Reviewers do not need to use the web tool to reply to the patch.
One can simply respond to the e-mail, and it will get added to the
patch discussion trail.

So, for people who do not want to use the tool, Rietveld will not get
in the way.  They can simply respond to the patch as usual, and as
long as they keep the rietveld email address in the CC list, the patch
trail will be updated automatically.

At Google we will start using Rietveld to send patches.  The only
difference folks will notice is that Rietveld-generated email has some
extra text.

I have created a wiki page that explains the basics of using Rietveld
(thanks Jeffrey for the instructions):
http://gcc.gnu.org/wiki/rietveld

Once again, I'd like to underscore the fact that if a patch submitter
chooses to use Rietveld for tracking their patches, this should not
affect in any way the traditional mail-based review.  All I ask is
that reviewers maintain the CC and Subject line intact in order to not
confuse the tool.

Jeffrey, would you mind looking over the instructions I've written to
make sure they're correct?

Richard, this is the tool I mentioned in today's chat.


Thanks.  Diego.


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