Trying to get review

My extension Launchy doesn't work with the latest builds of Mozilla Firefox. I've written about this before. This is because the function I use to detect the installed applications, getRegistryEntry, was removed from Mozilla Firefox when Ben killed of winhooks.

Now I'm trying to reintroduce getRegistryEntry. I've made a patch that will reintroduce getRegistryEntry in Mozilla Firefox. Now I need to get it reviewed. This is not so easy as it sound.

First of all the review UI is really weird. Having to choose between "", "+", "-", "?" is just plain strange! Then you gotta find a Requestee. I looked around and found the main Mozilla Firefox developer Ben Goodger. So I entered his email as a Requestee. Then I waited.

How long you gotta wait for a review I dont know but after 2 days of no review and no reply I started think if this is the correct way of getting a review? I've heard that some developers dont read their bugmail so perhaps this was also true for requests. I dont know. But having made a patch and not getting any response is disappointing and discouraging. Am I too impatient?

So now I tried to change Requestee. I really hope that I get an response this time.

This is not the first time I've experienced this problem. Sadly enough. I some areas you get an response super fast. I'd like to give special thanks for David Bienvenu who is quite amazing with response time on review and super reviews.

Not getting any response to a contribution you made for Mozilla is really bad. I know that all contributers thinks that their patch is the most important patch in the world, but I like to get some kind of response. Just something like "Yeah I'm looking at it i 2 days".

I really hope the entire review process will get better and easier.

April 08, 2004 11:58 AM | Posted in Mozilla


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It seems pretty random how long review takes. Most of the Firefox patches I have submitted have never gotten reviewed (in the 6+ months they've been in Bugzilla now), even one that fixes a known crash. Most of the bugs that affect SeaMonkey have gotten review, either approved or denied, with a day or two of requesting it. Same with requests of mscott about Thunderbird. I realize Ben is extremely swamped with work trying to get Firefox 0.9 out the door, but it would be nice if the other module peers could find some time for reviews. Or if Firefox doesn't really welcome outside patches, say so rather than having people waste their time contributing them.

Comment by Jon Henry at April 8, 2004 05:14 PM | Permalink

You should set the review? flag AFAIK - at least this is the case when you set the blocking flag.

I think you should set the review0.9? flag in this case.

Comment by Little Penguin at April 8, 2004 09:50 PM | Permalink

On this page on the Mozilla website I found this line of text:

"Note: has the authority to grant super-review, but will not review patches at this time."

Good luck!

Comment by Martijn at April 9, 2004 10:40 AM | Permalink

Review is really a joke (at least for Firefox). There simply aren't enough people to get to the patches, so you'll probably be waiting a while.

I've got two patches sitting waiting for review right now. Both are one-line fixes, and neither can possibly present a problem (the addition of one line of JS and the changing of an obsolete URL). I don't expect either will be reviewed until *possibly* before 1.0; I think they're unlikely to make 0.9 - not because they're hard to test but rather because no one has the time.

Comment by Jeff Walden at April 9, 2004 05:48 PM | Permalink

There are a limited number of reviewers. And of course most reviewers for FF also review for TB and Seamonkey. They all have huge queues of pending requests. Unless it's a high priority item, like a crash, you're low on the list.

Site icon Comment by alanjstr at April 10, 2004 05:43 AM | Permalink

All the people here are explaining why getting a _review_ could take a long time. The real problem is that getting a _response_ takes a long time. That's totally unacceptable. It takes all of 10 seconds to type "I won't be able to review this any time soon; please ask one of X, Y, and Z." Not providing some sort of response soon after getting a review request just indicates a lack of respect for the effort of others.

Comment by Boris at April 10, 2004 09:03 AM | Permalink

I agree with Boris.
Although in Ben's defense, as mentioned above, it looks like he's too swamped with things to do, and can't review at the moment ("Note: has the authority to grant super-review, but will not review patches at this time.")

Gemal, have you thought about contacting Blake/Hayatt/ or someone else directly (pm, e-mail)...

This is a major problem with Firefox, but I don't see a remedy until more devs start hacking directly on Firefox or more are hired by the moz foundation.

Comment by Jed at April 10, 2004 11:39 PM | Permalink

Henrik, you are just experiencing what everyone who contributes patches to Firefox is experiencing. The whole review-stuff is a total mess.

Ben does review patches only if you bug him via mail (try, the are heavily spam-filtered and most of the stuff that goes there is sent straight to devnull (that is what Ben told me). You can also try to contact Ben on IRC. He is normally available under the nickname Ben, Ben_, or BenG. Just type "/whois nickname" to see if he's online.

Blake comes and goes every six months, reviews a few patches and then leaves again.

Hyatt doesn't do any active work on Firefox anymore.

Pierre (pch) tries his best, especially if you ask him on IRC for a review.

Bryner is the best of the bunch and is normally pretty quick with reviewing. But he only reviews stuff that lies in his area (password manager, build system stuff).

What drive me nuts are two things:
First, the lack of respect for the work of others as Boris is saying. I understand, that Ben wants to have a strong grip on all UI stuff, but that is no excuse in itself. If he is unable to handle the load alone, he should appoint one or a few good hackers who he trusts enough in UI design.

Second, I can't understand why we need peer-review from one of these four people (I don't count hyatt) for a simple one- or two-liner patch correcting a typo somewhere or fixing some javascript stuff.

Comment by Simon Paquet at April 13, 2004 05:08 PM | Permalink

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