From: "Michael Haggerty" <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 7:52 PM

That's a very good point (and a good illustration, too).  How do you
like the new second and third sentences below?

* When reviewing other peoples' code, be tactful and constructive.
Remember that submitting patches for public critique can be very

I found this to be true. The tone on the list could at times feel un-helpful (to the new person). It is almost as if it is an initiation - those on the list know the protocols, and new folk either arrive like a bull in a china shop, or more likely, timidly push the patch under the door and run away (and variations in between) - some never push out their (drafted) patch.

                  and when mistakes are found it can be embarrassing.

Sometimes it isn't 'mistakes', rather it is simply a lack of sufficient explanation to communicate intent, which may not have been understood by the reviewer/responder. In such cases it can be a frustration to know what was meant in the response, especially if the response is terse. [i.e. I think it would be reasonable to squeeze part of this in here somewhere to guide new contributors about this step]

There is separately a need to note the role of the maintainer, who has a more difficult role as gatekeeper who's higher standards in applying the precautionary principle can feel like unhelpfulness, or worse if misunderstood.

what you can to make it a positive and pleasant experience for the
submitter.  Set high expectations, but do what you can to help the
submitter achieve them.  Don't demand changes based only on your
personal preferences. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

(As Junio pointed out, the last sentence is not so great and a better
replacement would be welcome.)

As my mother would say, "politeness costs nothing" ;-)

Does your mother program C?  We could use her around here :-)

I think she programmed in Smalltalk and CleanYourRoom. (sorry not my question ;-)


Michael Haggerty

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