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Reviews

Question: What new review requests for changes to the source code occurred during a certain period?

Description

When a project uses code review processes, changes are not directly submitted to the code base, but are first proposed for discussion as "proposals for change to the source code". Each of these proposals are intended to be reviewed by other developers, who may suggest improvements that will lead to the original proposers sending new versions of their proposals, until reviews are positive, and the code is accepted, or until it is decided that the proposal is declined.

For example, "reviews" correspond to "pull requests" in the case of GitHub, to "merge requests" in the case of GitLab, and to "code reviews" or in some contexts "changesets" in the case of Gerrit.

Objectives

  • Volume of changes proposed to a project. Reviews are a proxy for the activity in a project. By counting reviews to code changes in the set of repositories corresponding to a project, you can have an idea of the overall activity in reviewing changes to that project. Of course, this metric is not the only one that should be used to track volume of coding activity.

Implementation

Aggregators:

  • Count. Total number of reviews during the period.

Parameters:

  • Period of time. Start and finish date of the period. Default: forever.
    Period during which reviews are considered.

  • Criteria for source code. Algorithm. Default: all files are source code.
    If we are focused on source code, we need a criteria for deciding whether a file is a part of the source code or not.

Filters

  • By actors (submitter, reviewer, merger). Requires actor merging (merging ids corresponding to the same author).
  • By groups of actors (employer, gender... for each of the actors). Requires actor grouping, and likely, actor merging.

Visualizations

  • Count per month over time
  • Count per group over time

These could be represented as bar charts, with time running in the X axis. Each bar would represent reviews to change the code during a certain period (eg, a month).

Tools Providing the Metric

  • Grimoirelab provides this metric out of the box for GitHub Pull Requests, GitLab Merge Requests and Gerrit Changesets.
    • View an example on the CHAOSS instance of Bitergia Analytics.
    • Download and import a ready-to-go dashboard containing examples for this metric visualization based on GitHub Pull Requests data from the GrimoireLab Sigils panel collection.
    • Add a sample visualization for GitHub Pull requests to any GrimoreLab Kibiter dashboard following these instructions:
      • Create a new Vertical Bar chart.
      • Select the github_issues index.
      • Filter: pull_request is true.
      • Metrics Y-axis: Count Aggregation, # Pull Requests Custom Label.
      • X-axis: Date Histogram Aggregation, grimoire_creation_date Field, Auto Interval, Time Custom Label.
      • Buckets Split Series: Terms Sub Aggregation, state Field, metric: # Pull Requests Order By, Descending Order, 1000 Size, State Custom Label. Notice this visualization is based on Pull Requests creation date, so items are counted at the date they were created and its state, as set here, would be their current state at the moment of visualizing the data, e.g. n Pull Requests created at a give time range are currently open or closed.
    • Example screenshot: GrimoireLab screenshot of metric Reviews

Data Collection Strategies

Specific description: GitHub

In the case of GitHub, a review is defined as a "pull request", as long as it proposes changes to source code files.

The date of the review can be defined (for considering it in a period or not) as the date in which the pull request was submitted.

Specific description: GitLab

In the case of GitLab, a review is defined as a "merge request", as long as it proposes changes to source code files.

The date of the review can be defined (for considering it in a period or not) as the date in which the merge request was submitted.

Specific description: Gerrit

In the case of Gerrit, a review is defined as a "code review", or in some contexts, a "changeset", as long as it proposes changes to source code files.

The date of the review can be defined (for considering it in a period or not) as the date in which the code review was started by submitting a patchset for review.

References

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