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Planning for 10.10: Improving How We Review Patches

This is the first article in a series of posts where I will be outlining some of the goals for my team for the Ubuntu 10.10 cycle which I am in the process of planning for.

At the heart of Ubuntu development are gifts. People join our community and contribute in a diverse range of ways. This includes documentation, translations, advocacy and many other efforts. Every day we are afforded with many of these fantastic contributions, and if people take the time to contribute a gifts, we should work hard as a community to do the right thing and review and utilize it in Ubuntu if it meets our quality needs.

Fortunately, we have a rather incredible problem to solve: we have many gifts in the form of patches and not enough hands to open them, review them and apply them. This is something I am keen for us to make progress on in 10.10, and I have assigned Daniel Holbach from my team to work on this.

I am a firm believer that the first step in solving a problem is to optimize your visibility on the problem to understand it better, and with this in mind in the Lucid cycle Jorge and the Launchpad team performed some excellent work in putting together a patch view which provides a better and more accessible means of viewing all unreviewed patches for a given project. Beforehand these patches were scattered about Launchpad attached to bugs: now they are in a single view, providing an awesome TODO list for those who are keen to review patches and apply them. It looks like this:

In the 10.10 cycle I have asked Daniel to build a plan for how we can raise awareness of the importance of reviewing patches and how many of our tools and resources can help. We already have a lot of documentation and resources but I believe we need to optimize them for more people contributing and then go and encourage people to join the effort.

This is very much a community project that I have asked Daniel to drive: I think this is good and important work and we would love to hear your ideas about what can be done to improve how we (a) review these gifts (b) encourage more people to get involved and (c) ensure that patches can flow upstream easily. Thoughts?

 

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