metron-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Michael Miklavcic <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Refactoring
Date Wed, 30 May 2018 15:48:54 GMT
Completely agreed on all points. Can we do that here and spin up a vote
thread following with the final proposed changes?

On Wed, May 30, 2018 at 9:46 AM, Casey Stella <> wrote:

> I'm torn on this, honestly.  I completely agree that cosmetic refactoring
> gets in the way of review and the risk can be more than the reward,
> especially in a subtle bit of code.
> That being said, I'm a big fan of opportunistically refactoring to
> generalize or correct faulty assumptions.  Often, I can't justify making an
> abstraction until I have seen the need more than once, so I will make the
> abstraction, as long as it's small and well-contained, in the PR
> opportunistically, that motivates the 2nd usage.  I like that kind of
> opportunistic refactoring and I think that shouldn't be dissuaded.
> I agree with Otto, we should have a round of discussion on the doc text
> and I'd suggest we clarify to be cosmetic refactoring solely due to
> readability concerns.
> Just my $0.02
> On Tue, May 29, 2018 at 7:40 PM Otto Fowler <>
> wrote:
>> On top of this, refactoring under another PR’s goals tends to be less
>> documented as to the intent
>> and effect.
>> +1 for the idea, we should have a vote round or edit round on the doc’s
>> specific text.
>> Although I will say, that some things it doesn’t matter how much you break
>> them up wrt reviews.
>> We should have so many reviewers that this is a problem.
>> On May 29, 2018 at 20:05:49, Michael Miklavcic (
>> wrote:
>> I want to bring up the subject of code refactoring and how we should
>> manage
>> this in PR's as our product evolves. As Metron matures, it's only natural
>> that we'll have and increasing number of contributors, and subsequently
>> contributions affecting many hardened parts of the code base. We've
>> generally not been particular about mixing refactoring changes with other
>> types of improvements or bug fixes. As a general best practice for
>> software
>> engineering it is indeed desirable to undergo regular refactoring as a
>> matter of "scouts' rules" or "fixing broken windows." This helps keep code
>> readable and has the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes to see code in a new
>> way that allows the newcomer to introduce clarifying changes that the
>> original author(s) may not have considered.
>> While refactoring is generally applauded (because we have unit,
>> integration, and acceptance tests backing our changes), it does pose some
>> challenges during the review process. Depending on the type of PR, the
>> refactoring work can at times be many orders of magnitude larger than the
>> code pertinent to the desired change in functionality, whether bug fix or
>> feature enhancement, itself. While tests should protect against unintended
>> side effects (and sometimes they are also refactored) it does introduce
>> the
>> possibility of new subtle bugs. It also makes a lot of PR's a conflated
>> mix
>> of comments pertinent to the improvement/fix and opinions about best
>> practices around coding style.
>> I propose a simple change - we update our coding style guidelines in
>> section 2.1 to expand on refactoring. We currently cover whitespace and
>> comments:
>> "Don’t combine code changes with lots of edits of whitespace or comments;
>> it makes code review too difficult. It’s okay to fix an occasional comment
>> or indenting, but if wholesale comment or whitespace changes are needed,
>> make them a separate PR."
>> I propose we expand this to say:
>> "Don’t combine code changes with lots of edits of whitespace, comments, or
>> code changes specifically for refactoring purposes; it makes code review
>> too difficult. It’s okay to fix an occasional comment or indenting, but if
>> wholesale comment, whitespace or other refactoring changes are needed,
>> make
>> them a separate PR."
>> I believe this provides additional clarity. I think it's one thing to
>> extract a method or introduce changes for code you're specifically
>> modifying, and another thing to introduce changes that affect surrounding
>> code. I would also propose we emphasize the Google checkstyle and
>> auto-formatting tooling when submitting any changes, but dealing with
>> enforcement is not my focus for this discuss thread.
>> Best,
>> Michael Miklavcic

  • Unnamed multipart/alternative (inline, None, 0 bytes)
View raw message