Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Stas Malyshev
Hi!

> On Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 10:13 PM Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I'm glad that this problematic change to communications was reverted.
>>
>> I would like to suggest that this is the type of change that, when being
>> planned, should get a design review from a third party before coding
>> starts, should go through at least one RFC before coding starts, and be

I think there's no reason to make it bigger deal than it is. There was a
feature that people thought would be good, turned out it is not as good
as expected, so it was disabled. Nothing broken, nobody hurt (well,
maybe except some inboxes...). I don't think there's a reason to
describe this situation as "inexcusable". Sometimes something that we
expect to work one way and be useful turns out different way and things
that seemed to be excellent idea turn out to be very bad one. And we
have to adjust, and this is normal. We don't like such situations, but
we know they happen, and as long as they are handled properly - and I
think in this case it was - there's no reason to make it more than it is.

>> reasonable likelihood of costing an administrator their tools, and I hope
>> that a similar degree of accountability is enforced in the engineering

I hope not. Expecting unreasonable perfection from people and processes
and overreacting when inevitable problems happen will only lead to
frustration, failure and stagnation. Every failure has some lesson to
learn, but the lesson shouldn't be "let's find somebody to punish". I am
not sure if that was the intent, but it kinda felt this way to me. And I
don't think this is warranted neither in general nor in particular case.

Thanks,
--
Stas Malyshev
[hidden email]

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Chad
In reply to this post by Pine W
On Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 2:13 PM Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I would like to suggest that this is the type of change that, when being
> planned, should get a design review from a third party before coding
> starts, should go through at least one RFC before coding starts, and be
> widely communicated before coding starts and again a week or two before
> deployment.


There was no coding to start--it's an upstream plugin.

One that I considered enabling ages ago, fwiw. I didn't because of the very
issues outlined in this thread.

There _must_ be a way to disable this for certain files. Great examples:

site.pp in puppet
en.json language file in MW core
CommonSettings or InitialiseSettings in wmf-config

All examples of files that are edited by dozens of folks. Folks who could
very well be unqualified to review your change and/or completely
uninterested in it at all.

I did enable the reviewers (not by blame) plugin ages ago. This allows
people to opt in with much more granularity (and would remove the need for
the bot)

-Chad
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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Gergo Tisza
On Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 6:46 PM Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There _must_ be a way to disable this for certain files. Great examples:
>
> site.pp in puppet
> en.json language file in MW core
> CommonSettings or InitialiseSettings in wmf-config
>

There *is* a way to disable it. See plugins docs:
https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/plugins/reviewers-by-blame/Documentation/config.md

IMO the two blockers are having the plugin act under its own username and
providing some form of user optout. The other issues are annoying but can
be worked around (or opted out from in the worst case).
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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Daniel Kinzler-3
In reply to this post by Chad
Am 19.01.19 um 03:46 schrieb Chad:
> All examples of files that are edited by dozens of folks. Folks who could
> very well be unqualified to review your change and/or completely
> uninterested in it at all.

Coming to think of it, it would be much more useful to base the suggestion on
who has *reviewed* and *merged* changes to the file before, as opposed to who
has *authored* patches.

People who have merged before may merge again. People who have authored small
changes to lots of files don't want to be spammed with review requests.


--
Daniel Kinzler
Principal Software Engineer, Core Platform
Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Tyler Cipriani
In reply to this post by Pine W
On 19-01-18 22:12:22, Pine W wrote:
>I'm glad that this problematic change to communications was reverted.

Clarification: Enabling this plugin wasn't reverted, a configuration
change was made to the default settings of the plugin.

Thanks to the helpful suggestions on this thread, it's my hope that the
upstream plugin (in future) may contain additional configuration options
to improve the usability of this plugin for everyone, including
Wikimedia technical contributors.

>I would like to suggest that this is the type of change that, when being
>planned, should get a design review from a third party before coding
>starts, should go through at least one RFC before coding starts, and be
>widely communicated before coding starts and again a week or two before
>deployment. Involving TechCom might also be appropriate. It appears that
>none of those happened here. In terms of process this situation looks to me
>like it's inexcusable.

As Chad mentioned this is a plugin developed by upstream Gerrit.

Enabling this plugin was tracked in Wikimedia's public Phabricator[0].

As is now well understood in hindsight, the default configuration of
this plugin (as designed by Gerrit upstream) is far from optimal
for Wikimedia technical contributors.

[0]. <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T101131>

>In the English Wikipedia community, doing something like this would have a
>reasonable likelihood of costing an administrator their tools, and I hope
>that a similar degree of accountability is enforced in the engineering
>community. In particular, I expect engineering supervisors to follow
>established technical processes for changes that impact others' workflows,
>and if they decide to skip those processes without a compelling reason
>(such as a site stability problem) then I hope that they will be held
>accountable. Again, from my perspective, the failure to follow process here
>is inexcusable.

As was pointed out by others: it's difficult to make a comparison
between the English Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia technical
contributors community (although many folks belong to both groups). I
don't believe holding individuals to a post hoc set of standards creates
a healthy community in any case.

I do agree that technical contributors should be accountable. That is,
technical contributors should strive to be responsive to issues when
they arise (as issues will arise when attempting to accomplish goals in
a technical space).

-- Tyler

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Dan Garry (Deskana)
In reply to this post by Pine W
Something new was tried in the hopes it'd be good, it turned out not to be
good, it was reverted, and now there's some discussion about how to make it
better. That's a successful process, not an unsuccessful one.

Given that this exact method of doing things is not only well-established
on the English Wikipedia but is also a recommended pattern (
bold-revert-discuss <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BRD>), I'm not
sure why you think this would be unacceptable there.

Dan

On Fri, 18 Jan 2019 at 22:13, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'm glad that this problematic change to communications was reverted.
>
> I would like to suggest that this is the type of change that, when being
> planned, should get a design review from a third party before coding
> starts, should go through at least one RFC before coding starts, and be
> widely communicated before coding starts and again a week or two before
> deployment. Involving TechCom might also be appropriate. It appears that
> none of those happened here. In terms of process this situation looks to me
> like it's inexcusable.
>
> In the English Wikipedia community, doing something like this would have a
> reasonable likelihood of costing an administrator their tools, and I hope
> that a similar degree of accountability is enforced in the engineering
> community. In particular, I expect engineering supervisors to follow
> established technical processes for changes that impact others' workflows,
> and if they decide to skip those processes without a compelling reason
> (such as a site stability problem) then I hope that they will be held
> accountable. Again, from my perspective, the failure to follow process here
> is inexcusable.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> _______________________________________________
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> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Merlijn van Deen
In reply to this post by Giuseppe Lavagetto
On Fri, 18 Jan 2019 at 07:58, Giuseppe Lavagetto <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> The amount of noise will prevent me from being able to notice anyone's
> review request. I think it's going to be the same for other developers - I
> don't want to imagine what the inbox of a long-time mediawiki-core
> contributor must look like!
>
> What I fear is that the flood of reviews will make everyone just dull to
> notifications, obtaining the exact opposite effect that was intended. I say
> this because  I auto added myself to all reviews in operations/puppet[1] in
> the past, which resulted in me ignoring all code review requests.
>
>
Reading this thread -- and Guiseppes comment above in particular, made me
think a bit on how we do code review, and how automatically adding
reviewers may be counterproductive. This includes the Gerrit Reviewer Bot:
even though it is opt-in, it may still overwhelm the inbox of whoever opted
in, and if that person does not unsubscribe (but rather creates a filter to
move all the requests into a 'I don't have time to look at this now, but I
will review these later' mailbox - I have done this myself at some point,
which meant that in practice, I didn't review anything for that project
anymore), we end up in a situation where code is not actually reviewed in a
more timely manner.

One thing I wondered about is how big the problem of patches without
relevant reviewers is. This is not entirely trivial to query, but the best
I could come up with was looking for patches without any reviewer at all:
https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/q/status:open+-reviewerin:%2522Registered+Users%2522
. This is only a very small number of patches -- while the number of
patches that have V+1 CR=0 Age > 1 month is much larger:
https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/q/status:open+label:Verified%253E%253D0+label:Code-Review%253D0+age:1month

This suggests to me that the problem is not a lack of reviewers added, but
a lack of reviewing :-). This might be due to the wrong reviewers being
added (which an improved version of the auto-reviewer plugin could solve),
but it might also just be that the reviewers don't have enough time to
actually perform the reviews. That includes myself -- I find it very
difficult to get started doing reviews on code I haven't looked at a while.
After all, it's much more fun to write code than to review it ;-)

How to solve that? I don't know -- I think initiatives such as Andre's
'Patchsets by new Gerrit contributors' emails help (as they focus on a
small number of changes). The same is true for a form of gamification (such
as the statistics in the previous Thank You day threads).

In general, I believe that trying something new (which includes trying the
Gerrit plugin!) is going to be beneficial, as otherwise we never discover
which directions improve things (and which ones don't). After all, the
Reviewer Bot is already 8 years old, and it's unlikely that the thing I
hacked together back then is still the best solution now :-)

Merlijn
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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Thiemo Kreuz
In reply to this post by Wikipedia Developers mailing list
Can I please ask again to *ban* this bad plugin entirely from our
systems? Having it sit there for anybody to enable again is a ticking
time bomb. It will start sending out the same misattributed,
uncontrollable, aggressive fake request spam again. I don't want
anybody to experience something like this again.

Look for a plugin that makes suggestions, please.

Best
Thiemo

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MA
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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

MA
Hello,

El lun., 21 ene. 2019 a las 10:14, Thiemo Kreuz
(<[hidden email]>) escribió:

>
> Can I please ask again to *ban* this bad plugin entirely from our
> systems? Having it sit there for anybody to enable again is a ticking
> time bomb. It will start sending out the same misattributed,
> uncontrollable, aggressive fake request spam again. I don't want
> anybody to experience something like this again.
>
> Look for a plugin that makes suggestions, please.
>
> Best
> Thiemo

I think Thiemo makes a good point again. As things stand now support
disabling/removing the plugin entirely from our gerrit install.

Thank you, M.

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Wikipedia Developers mailing list
 I’m currently working on addressing all the feedback as fast as I can.
I honestly think this extension is great especially for new users, who do not know they need reviewers or who would review there change. Granted this extension has some problems hence why feature requests were filed against the extension.
    On Monday, 21 January 2019, 15:41:53 GMT, MA <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
 Hello,

El lun., 21 ene. 2019 a las 10:14, Thiemo Kreuz
(<[hidden email]>) escribió:

>
> Can I please ask again to *ban* this bad plugin entirely from our
> systems? Having it sit there for anybody to enable again is a ticking
> time bomb. It will start sending out the same misattributed,
> uncontrollable, aggressive fake request spam again. I don't want
> anybody to experience something like this again.
>
> Look for a plugin that makes suggestions, please.
>
> Best
> Thiemo

I think Thiemo makes a good point again. As things stand now support
disabling/removing the plugin entirely from our gerrit install.

Thank you, M.

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Wikipedia Developers mailing list
 FYI i have a working prototype working ("Suggest Reviewer") button.
    On Monday, 21 January 2019, 16:32:35 GMT, Paladox via Wikitech-l <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
  I’m currently working on addressing all the feedback as fast as I can.
I honestly think this extension is great especially for new users, who do not know they need reviewers or who would review there change. Granted this extension has some problems hence why feature requests were filed against the extension.
    On Monday, 21 January 2019, 15:41:53 GMT, MA <[hidden email]> wrote: 
 
 Hello,

El lun., 21 ene. 2019 a las 10:14, Thiemo Kreuz
(<[hidden email]>) escribió:

>
> Can I please ask again to *ban* this bad plugin entirely from our
> systems? Having it sit there for anybody to enable again is a ticking
> time bomb. It will start sending out the same misattributed,
> uncontrollable, aggressive fake request spam again. I don't want
> anybody to experience something like this again.
>
> Look for a plugin that makes suggestions, please.
>
> Best
> Thiemo

I think Thiemo makes a good point again. As things stand now support
disabling/removing the plugin entirely from our gerrit install.

Thank you, M.

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Thiemo Kreuz
> […] i have a working prototype working ("Suggest Reviewer") button.

Ok, but that's another extension then. Can we kill the bad one, please?

Best
Thiemo

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Wikipedia Developers mailing list
 Nope, im adding that functionality to reviewers-by-blame.
Unless y'all want a plugin where you can define reviewers each repo and a user can press "Suggest Reviewers", but it would probably be best to use Reviewers-By-Blame once all the feedback has been addressed.
    On Monday, 21 January 2019, 19:37:24 GMT, Thiemo Kreuz <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
 > […] i have a working prototype working ("Suggest Reviewer") button.

Ok, but that's another extension then. Can we kill the bad one, please?

Best
Thiemo

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Wikipedia Developers mailing list
 Change is now available at: https://gerrit-review.googlesource.com/c/plugins/reviewers-by-blame/+/210812 and  https://gerrit-review.googlesource.com/c/plugins/reviewers-by-blame/+/211052
    On Monday, 21 January 2019, 19:46:41 GMT, Paladox via Wikitech-l <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
  Nope, im adding that functionality to reviewers-by-blame.
Unless y'all want a plugin where you can define reviewers each repo and a user can press "Suggest Reviewers", but it would probably be best to use Reviewers-By-Blame once all the feedback has been addressed.
    On Monday, 21 January 2019, 19:37:24 GMT, Thiemo Kreuz <[hidden email]> wrote: 
 
 > […] i have a working prototype working ("Suggest Reviewer") button.

Ok, but that's another extension then. Can we kill the bad one, please?

Best
Thiemo

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Thiemo Kreuz
In reply to this post by Wikipedia Developers mailing list
> […] im adding that functionality to reviewers-by-blame.

I'm afraid I don't understand. Does this mean all the issues that make
the plugin send passive-aggressive, misattributed spam will still be
in place, possibly hitting peoples inboxes again any time somebody
decides it would be a good idea to turn this feature set on again? My
impression was more that all the ideas that have been shared in this
email thread describe an *entirely* different approach, following
entirely different ideas, with an entirely different UI, and entirely
different setup. What's the point of stuffing this into the same,
fundamentally broken codebase?

Sysops, please, for our sanity, do not let anybody enable this toxic
plugin again.

Best
Thiemo

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Chad
Fundamentally broken sounds like a bit of a stretch.

In fact, it was probably working quite well for our less-trafficked
repositories. But the issues identified must be fixed and decent file
exclusion rules written before it goes back on for the active ones.

-Chad

On Jan 22, 2019 12:11 AM, "Thiemo Kreuz" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> […] im adding that functionality to reviewers-by-blame.

I'm afraid I don't understand. Does this mean all the issues that make
the plugin send passive-aggressive, misattributed spam will still be
in place, possibly hitting peoples inboxes again any time somebody
decides it would be a good idea to turn this feature set on again? My
impression was more that all the ideas that have been shared in this
email thread describe an *entirely* different approach, following
entirely different ideas, with an entirely different UI, and entirely
different setup. What's the point of stuffing this into the same,
fundamentally broken codebase?

Sysops, please, for our sanity, do not let anybody enable this toxic
plugin again.


Best
Thiemo

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Wikipedia Developers mailing list
In reply to this post by Thiemo Kreuz
 No, I added in a config so that it would disable automatically adding reviewers instead relying on users to press “Suggest Reviewers” button.
    On Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 08:11:23 GMT, Thiemo Kreuz <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
 > […] im adding that functionality to reviewers-by-blame.

I'm afraid I don't understand. Does this mean all the issues that make
the plugin send passive-aggressive, misattributed spam will still be
in place, possibly hitting peoples inboxes again any time somebody
decides it would be a good idea to turn this feature set on again? My
impression was more that all the ideas that have been shared in this
email thread describe an *entirely* different approach, following
entirely different ideas, with an entirely different UI, and entirely
different setup. What's the point of stuffing this into the same,
fundamentally broken codebase?

Sysops, please, for our sanity, do not let anybody enable this toxic
plugin again.

Best
Thiemo

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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Gergo Tisza
This discussion could do with less theatrics IMO.
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Re: [Engineering] Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Kunal Mehta
In reply to this post by Tyler Cipriani
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

Hi,

On 1/18/19 6:11 AM, Tyler Cipriani wrote:
> In the interim, project-owners are able to opt-in to using the
> reviewers-by-blame plugin on a per-project basis on their project
> admin page in Gerrit.

I'm happy to volunteer any of the projects I help maintain as a guinea
pig once modifications to the plugin are ready for wider testing.

> Also, the Git Reviewer Bot[1] provides folks an opt-in method of
> volunteering to review a subset of files in a particular repo.

IMO, the main place where the Reviewer-Bot falls short is that it
relies on a hardcoded list of file paths that often change and then
requires manual intervention. Using blame is nice in that it's automatic
.

> Getting code review as a new contributor is hard. Thanks for
> bearing with us.

I've spoken to plenty people that complain that their patch was never
merged, and after looking, it had no reviewers assigned :-(

My suggestions for the plugin:
* Require some manual interaction by the patch author, similar to
GitHub (I believe Paladox is already working on this)
* Some account-level opt-out for bots, people who have left the
movement, etc.
* Don't suggest people that have already been manually removed from
the patch
* Only suggest people that have been active on Gerrit (or maybe limit
it to that repo) in the past X months/years.
** For repositories that have no active development but a maintainer
who still checks email, using a time-based check might not work. In a
past experiment I looked at the last 100 merged patches.
* If feasible, introduce some kind of marking (hashtag? topic?) that
can be used in mass cleanup style commits so that they are ignored by
the blame so drive by contributors aren't suggested as reviewers. I
currently have a mail filter with a few different Gerrit topics (e.g.
bump-dev-deps) to separate those review requests from other ones.

Thanks to those that are working on this.
- -- Legoktm
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Re: Gerrit now automatically adds reviewers

Kunal Mehta
In reply to this post by Jaime Crespo
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Hi,

On 1/18/19 1:11 AM, Jaime Crespo wrote:
> One member of my team sadly left. Now he is pinged every time I
> upload a change, passively aggressive reminding him he used to work
> on this.
>
> Don't get me wrong, I think this is great to get attention for new
> contributors, to make sure it is moving forward, but I would
> suggest to be able to opt-out of this.

While exacerbated by the plugin, I think this is a problem in general,
when someone (typically staff) leaves the movement, and others are
unaware and continue to request reviews from them (and likely a
bouncing mailbox :/).

In these cases it would be nice if those people could set their Gerrit
status[1] to something indicating that they won't be reviewing code
anymore so others don't add them as reviewers.

[1] Simetrical has theirs set to "Inactive until April" for example:
https://screenshots.firefox.com/JWmxdIdXtGaQ8EHW/gerrit.wikimedia.org

- -- Legoktm
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