[development] How to post bug reports and patches

Nathaniel Catchpole catch56 at googlemail.com
Sat Nov 1 11:27:25 UTC 2008

On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 11:21 PM, David Sterratt > wrote:.

> A thought about widening bottleneck #3 that requires no technological
> innovation: Suppose I've submitted a patch that I'm keen to see reviewed
> and committed. Would it be socially acceptable to review two other
> patches (preferably related in some way and of a similar level of
> complexity) and ask the submitters of those patches to review my patch
> in return?
> You scratch my patch, I'll scratch yours.
A very large proportion (I wouldn't dare to say how many) of core patches
are reviewed because a handful of us who hang out in irc trade patch reviews
with each other on a regular basis. Sometimes this is a straight trade, more
generally there's a handful of people who can be relied upon for decent
reviews of core patches they might not have a personal interest in, and
those people tend to get their patches reviewed faster too based on
reputation (although our patches can still sit in the queue for weeks and
weeks like anyone else's, that's how bad it is). If this sounds a bit
cliquey, then that's because it is, but only by necessity. With over 400
issues needing review against Drupal 7 at the moment (and some of those
issues might have 20 individual patches posted on them), it's one of few
available ways to filter - and I say this as someone who's probably reviewed
quite a bit more than 400 patches against Drupal 6 and 7.

If you come into #drupal, and say 'I've got a few minutes spare to review
patches, want to trade?", you'll find many willing and able people.

While reviewing patches doesn't have the same obvious visibility as posting
a new module for example, you'll get copious thanks if you review core
patches, or patches against any of the major contributed modules - because
development on both core and contrib is actively held up, sometimes stalled,
by the lack of reviewers (see Daniel Kudwein's post to this list asking for
reviews of Views 1.x patches - who reading this has used Views? How many
have reviewed any patches in the Views issue queue? How many reading would
like to get attention from one of the Views maintainers next time they have
a support request?). So while it might appear a thankless task, this a
misconception that we need to stamp out. We have more than enough
contributed modules, we have a real shortage of people actively working on
the ones that most people actually use.

In answer to the original poster, while it's already been covered a bit, the
main reason we don't appear to give much attention to the stable Drupal 5
and 6 branches, is because there's a policy of ensuring that bugs are fixed
in  HEAD (Drupal 7) first, then backported. This ensures that bugs fixed in
5 and 6 won't reappear when Drupal 7 is released, that changes made are
consistent between all three branches, and that the bulk of work reviewing
and refining patches can be done where there's the most active development
going on. I'm not sure where this particular policy is documented, so for
now at least, I've updated http://drupal.org/patch/submit to reflect it a

Having said that, there's still a shortage of people reviewing patches
against Drupal 7, and even more against 5 and 6 - including the ones
backported from 7. One thing which might help with 5/6 would be additional
links to the issue queues from the 'contributors block' - at least
critical/needs review. I don't know about everyone else, but those links are
where I find patches to review unless I'm pointed to them directly, and
patches for 5 and 6 don't show up there.

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