[Twisted-Python] How to say "reverted". (was Re: [Twisted-commits] r22628 - Revert r22624: regression in test_conch.)

Jonathan Lange jml at mumak.net
Wed Feb 20 17:54:05 EST 2008

On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 8:41 PM, Thomas Herve
<therve at wolfwood.twistedmatrix.com> wrote:
> Author: therve
>  Date: Wed Feb 20 02:41:55 2008
>  New Revision: 22628
>  Removed:
>    trunk/twisted/conch/test/test_transport.py
>  Modified:
>    trunk/twisted/conch/manhole_ssh.py
>    trunk/twisted/conch/ssh/factory.py
>    trunk/twisted/conch/ssh/service.py
>    trunk/twisted/conch/ssh/transport.py
>    trunk/twisted/conch/ssh/userauth.py
>    trunk/twisted/conch/test/test_conch.py
>    trunk/twisted/conch/test/test_ssh.py
>  Log:
>  Revert r22624: regression in test_conch.
>  Refs #2678

Hello all,

Thanks to Thomas for being alert enough to spot this regression and
energetic enough to revert it. I'm very glad that we have people[1]
monitoring the test suite making sure that we can trust trunk.
However, I have two suggestions on how we can announce trunk reverts
better. I'm not picking on him in particular, this is just the first
revert for which I am detached enough to comment sensibly.

1. When reverting a commit to trunk, the commit message should explain
what the regression is.

The word 'regression' is used sometimes to mean 'test suite failure'
and other times to mean 'a feature that I liked works differently now'
or 'this is slower than it was'. If it's a test failure, it's useful
to know what test, and particularly whether or not the test was
related to the change. If it's not a test failure, it's good to know
why the "regression" is considered severe enough to back out the
change, rather than just fixing it in place.

2. Reverting someone's contribution is bad news for them. We should
break the bad news gently.

Backing out someone's changes can often send an unintended message of
blame, when we actually want to be encouraging people to contribute.
"Revert <revno>: regression in <file>." is terse, unspecific and
leaves too much unsaid. We can't do anything about the bad news, but
we can change the way we break it. Being more specific helps a lot, as
does describing what happens next (e.g. "I'll fix it up and land it
for you", "Can you please investigate the failure and fix the test,
I'll review the fix for you as soon as it's ready.")


[1] I'll be even happier when we have *machines* monitoring the test
suite, but that's another email.

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