[development] What about reviewing patches?

Kathleen Murtagh kathleen at ceardach.com
Wed Aug 13 21:21:25 UTC 2008

On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 4:38 PM, Dmitri G <dmitrig01 at gmail.com> wrote:
> "No real spare time."
> What an excuse.
> Somehow, people have spare time for all these rants, but no time for
> patch reviews?
> This does not make much sense to me.
> Does anyone care to explain?
> Dmitri

In terms of time management, I've been thinking a lot about this issue
:)  It comes down to patterns, motivation and task switching.

Patterns help you do things swiftly, or unconsciously.  Responding to
a mailing list is an example of doing something that takes time
unconsciously because we were checking our email _anyway_, what's
writing one more?  On the other hand, not having an environment set
up, or a system in place for going over patches makes it difficult
because there are too many conscious steps to address.  There isn't a
pattern or workflow set up, so the person has to consciously think of
the next step and work to improve upon the process with their given
environment.  There isn't yet any swiftness to following a pattern,
and you're well aware of the time that it will take.

That segways nicely into motivation.  In reading an email, we can be
inspired or angered to reply - and besides, we were checking our email
anyway.  A person may not be inspired to move and do some patch
reviews.  And if they're not inspired, setting up and maintaining that
environment to do the testing will be burdensome.

Then is task switching.  I know this one well :)  Although the actual
task itself may take a short amount of time, there is a significant
amount of overhead when switching from one task to another.  I can
work on one project and put in a 12 hour productive day.  However, if
I were asked to do three projects, I would likely work on only two in
the day, leaving the other out cold with only 6 productive hours, and
6 totally wasted hours due to overhead.  I am, obviously, an extreme
example of this phenomena.  However, a "20 minute" patch review can
very easily turn into an hour including the overhead of task

Kathleen Murtagh

More information about the development mailing list