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Re: Review of tests upstreamed by implementors

From: Dirk Pranke <dpranke@chromium.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 14:12:55 -0700
Message-ID: <CAEoffTBNCBkeZA=M7Jb3afeKOU36mNuOtvEVG-Lf9SJSpTPx_A@mail.gmail.com>
To: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Cc: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>, Tobie Langel <tobie@w3.org>, public-test-infra <public-test-infra@w3.org>
On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 1:46 PM, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 20 Mar 2013, Robin Berjon wrote:
>  I proposed that we drop this requirement and explicitly state so in
>>> the new review process, i.e. something along the lines of:
>>> "Contributions must be reviewed by a peer. The reviewer can be a
>>> colleague of the contributor as long as the proceedings are public."
>> I'm getting a sense of violent agreement on this.
> Then I should probably challenge it :p
> I think that if we believe organisation-internal review to be sufficient
> we should be able to back this up e.g. with evidence that existing
> submissions where it is claimed that some internal review happened did not
> suffer defects at the same rate as submissions where no such claim is made.
> My feeling (not data) is that this isn't always the case; at least I recall
> significant submissions, which I presume underwent internal review, that
> nevertheless contained some major defects, often arising from a
> misunderstanding of the specification that went unchecked in a closed
> environment. I would particularly worry about cases where the tests were
> reviewed as part of a patch to implement the feature; in such a case it
> would be extremely easy for the reviewer to concentrate on the
> implementation and blindly approve the tests on the basis that they pass
> when run with the accompanying code.
> Of course this isn't to say that encouraging releasing records of internal
> review along with the test shouldn't be encouraged. However they should be
> an aid to other users of the testsuite looking to do review, not a
> replacement. Which brings me to my main point; the tests going unreviewed
> is a symptom of a much more serious underlying problem, namely that
> implemntors are not actually running the tests from the W3C repository. If
> people were actually running the tests they would be inclined to provide
> review when implementing a feature with submitted tests, both to get the
> submission accepted and to discover the limitations of the existing
> testsuite. They would also be highly likely to pick up errors in the
> testsuite, which often manifest themselves as differences between
> implementations (that is, a wrong test will correctly fail in a second
> implementation). This would solve all the problems with review slowness
> without damaging review quality, without eroding all the benefits of having
> multiple, diverse, contributers understand the structure and coverage of a
> particular testsuite, and without leading to a scenario where a single
> organisation can unilaterally declare the testsuite for a feature to be
> "complete" (at least for Process purposes). I should note that in webapps
> at least this latter situation is more or less arising today, so it isn't
> theoretical.
> It is my opinion that we should be putting considerably more effort into
> working with all implementors to ensure that they are actually running the
> tests that we are collecting. Once we do that we won't have to put so much
> effort into fiddling with the details of procedures in order to get testing
> momentum going, because it will be naturally beneficial for all the parties
> involved to provide the momentum out of their own best interests.
+1 :).
Received on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 21:13:43 UTC

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