Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Feedback on the PostgreSQL development process

For the last few weeks, the PostgreSQL Hackers list has been discussing how to improve the PostgreSQL development process.

You might be forgiven for asking "Why? What is wrong with it?". Indeed, you might.

The process has changed many times down the years. Essentially, the process revolves around a few key people with the knowledge and time to contribute reviews of the submitted patches. All of those people have got views about what's right and wrong with the exact current system.

What would be useful is to hear from people who
* never submitted a patch for a definite blocking reason
* submitted a patch but had it rejected
* wrote a first patch but were dissuaded from doing that again

If you'd like to review patches for PostgreSQL then we're short of manpower there. We're short of manpower because PostgreSQL believes that peer review is an essential technique to producing good code. You'll need to spend some time getting to understand the review process and guidelines and you may also need assistance on some technical aspects. Apart from that, reviews consist of asking questions like "Won't that break ALTER TABLE?" and observing "there's not enough code comments here, and no docs".

If you have feedback, or you can help, please join the hackers list and speak out.


  1. In my opinion the review process seems somewhat hidden. Granted threads get created on the mailing lists, but following email threads to determine the conclusion of a review from multiple inputs gets ugly. How about looking at some software review systems to help normalize the review process and make it logical for those of us not in the heart of the code. This might allow non pg developers to get some input into the process. Have you looked at review board for example?

  2. @Anonymous:

    Have you looked at https://commitfest.postgresql.org/ ?

  3. Any interest in using JIRA? Open Source projects get it for free.