Reviewing pull requests

Everyone is welcome to comment on pull requests. If you’re deeply familiar with the RapidSMS code, you might spot a fundamental problem. But if not, you still can look for smaller-scale bugs, typos, style issues, better algorithms, etc.

The Coding standards and best practices are a good checklist when reviewing pull requests. All pull requests are expected to comply with our coding standards.

Check out the code from the pull request’s branch and try running it locally. Make sure the tests pass on your system; it might be different from the submitter’s system. Try other things; even if all the tests pass, there might be things we forgot to write a test for, or couldn’t.

See if your own app still works when using the modified RapidSMS. Sometimes different apps use RapidSMS in different ways.

If you are on The RapidSMS core team, you’re encouraged to review pull requests and if they look acceptable, merge them to the develop branch. Or if the submitter is another core team member, add a ship it! comment and let them do the merging.

In any case, please try to be polite in your comments, and give the submitter the benefit of the doubt. Before clicking to submit your comment, think about how you would feel if someone made that comment about your code.

One good policy when writing review comments is to always refer to the code, never to the submitter. Remember that what we’re reviewing is the code, not the person. For example, instead of saying “you didn’t check for None”, you might instead say “the method is missing a check for None”.

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