OpenJDK Code review system - Request for use cases and requirements

Kelly O'Hair kelly.ohair at
Fri Apr 15 09:39:50 PDT 2011

On Apr 14, 2011, at 11:06 AM, Mohan Pakkurti wrote:

> Hello
> I am looking at undertaking some projects to help improve the infrastructure for OpenJDK. 
> One of the systems that is often requested is an open code review system, and I want to understand what we would want from this.
> I came across this blog entry and want to get this discussion started again by asking you for input.
> What use cases would you have for this system?

I generally just need to get one or two people, usually fairly arbitrary openjdk people, to review changes
prior to a changeset being created. Making this process easy and quick is paramount.

> What features would you like to see in this system?

I'm an old webrev user, so I need a review system that provides a variety of different views on the changes.
It never obvious at times what kind of view works best with different types of files or changes.
So my primary #1 feature would be to provide different views on the change being made.

> What other systems and processes do you see the code review system integrate with?

Although it might be nice to see a connection between a changeset and a webrev, or a CR number and
a webrev, the actual act of doing a code review often changes what CRs are involved and what the
final changesets will be created. And since the final changesets contain the final patch, the webrevs are
simply preliminary diffs, not the final change.

A webrev should probably include a reference to the public repository the change is based on, and the
parent changesetID that the changes are based on. That is currently missing from the existing webrev script.
A webrev is a "proposed change", not a final change in my view.

> Any suggestions for systems we should consider for this?

If the system chosen does not work with or adapt to a Distributed SCM like Mercurial/Git, it may not be
a good system choice.

> Do you have any other comments on this topic?

Some additional background information:

The current community server is described at
I think this simple storage server was created after Mark's original email.

The webrev.ksh script is now at
or in the top repository as ./make/scripts/webrev.ksh.
Webrev help information is now at

This script and the use of webrevs has been around for a long time. I think most of us that have used webrevs
over the years have found them extremely valuable and the webrev script has evolved over time.

Speaking for myself, I have found ReviewBoard overly complicated, incomplete in it's views on the differences,
and frustrating to use. I would probably continue to use webrevs over ReviewBoard, at least until it provided
a better set of views on the change.


> Cheers
> Mohan

More information about the web-discuss mailing list