[development] RTBC - how does it work?

John Wilkins drupal.user at albin.net
Tue Jul 3 22:07:35 UTC 2007

I agree with and understand everything that Gabor said about the  
process and that Earl said about trust.  I don't think anything they  
said needs to be changed.  But the issue boils down to this: RTBC  
means "ready for committer review", but it doesn't SAY that.

 From a new contributor's perspective, "ready to be committed" means  
exactly what it says; the code has been reviewed and is ready to be  
committed.  And that definition leads to a few expectations...
   * If a patch is properly reviewed, but by a non-trusted developer,  
and marked RTBC, the issue is not really RTBC because it hasn't  
gotten a trusted review. And yet the non-trusted developer doesn't  
know this, sees the RTBC status, and wonders why his/her contribution  
gets ignored. He/she is expecting some feedback in a timely matter,  
but this often doesn't happen.
   * Also, when a non-trusted developer reviews and marks an issue  
RTBC before code freeze, the expectation is that it will get reviewed  
and hopefully committed before code freeze.

Both of these expectations are wrong, so...

Why does a new contributor have these expectation? Simple. The issue  
status says "READY TO BE COMMITTED" and, since it is also the final  
status before "fixed", it looks like it's the final step.

Re-aligning the non-trusted developer's expectations is definitely  
the way to go.  (See my previous email for my proposed solution.)

For example, if I had known I needed an additional, trusted review  
for the updated Theme Settings API patch (#57676), I would have spent  
some time trying to solicit one. And if I was unable to get a trusted  
review, the developers who worked on the patch would have known  
exactly why it didn't make it into 6.x and wouldn't have been  
frustrated at the process or at the core committers.

Let me repeat myself: if new contributers perceive that their RTBC  
contributions are ignored, they will stop contributing.  Which means  
this is a problem for the whole developer community, not just for new  
contributers.  And, thus a solution is essential.

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