20 Feb

The Gap

It looks like the instant answers have been getting a lot of love and attention recently. You've probably seen that a variety of issues are getting fixed, and each of our pull requests (at least in both the Spice and Goodies repository) are getting thoroughly reviewed. The community is growing, and it's starting to play a much larger role in determining how well the codebase will grow. I'm very happy about our progress!

That said, I think it's time to revisit the way we have our review process set up. Here's an overview of our current workflow:

Now this used to work when the number of contributors was small, but now that we're growing, we're starting to see a few problems:

  1. It takes longer - The instant answer effectively passes through two code reviews. The time it takes for the instant answer to go out the door adds up.
  2. Internal reviews are not public - The community cannot participate in this part of the process, and they don't see the comments that DDG employees are making.
  3. It's not scalable - The additional changes piece at the latter part are done by DDG employees.

So there's this sort of gap between the time when the pull request was merged in, and the time when it gets deployed that people can't see. I think we can solve all these problems with a small change: We should combine both the community and internal reviews.

What this means for you

To contributing developers: You will be talking to DDG employees as well as the rest of the community about your instant answer. There will be no internal reviews--you'll be in on the whole thing.

To people with commit access: The review process will be the same--ask questions and suggest improvements! The only change is that we shouldn't be merging the pull request unless there's an explicit "It's ready to go" comment from DDG. Take note that this only applies to new instant answers. You can definitely merge in fixes to issues if it looks good to you.

I think that's it. If you have any questions or any objections just shoot me an e-mail at jagtalon@duckduckgo.com.

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