Re: [Ksummit-2012-discuss] [ATTEND or not ATTEND] That's the question!

From: Srivatsa S. Bhat
Date: Fri Jul 06 2012 - 06:01:15 EST

On 07/06/2012 03:24 PM, Frederic Weisbecker wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 06, 2012 at 01:43:06PM +0400, Glauber Costa wrote:
>> On 06/20/2012 11:51 PM, J. Bruce Fields wrote:
>>> On Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 07:29:06AM -0600, Jonathan Corbet wrote:
>>>> On Sat, 16 Jun 2012 12:50:05 +0200 (CEST)
>>>> Thomas Gleixner <tglx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>>> A good start would be if you could convert your kernel statistics into
>>>>> accounting the consolidation effects of contributions instead of
>>>>> fostering the idiocy that corporates have started to measure themself
>>>>> and the performance of their employees (I'm not kidding, it's the sad
>>>>> reality) with line and commit count statistics.
>>>> I would dearly love to come up with a way to measure "real work" in
>>>> some fashion; I've just not, yet, figured out how to do that. I do
>>>> fear that the simple numbers we're able to generate end up creating the
>>>> wrong kinds of incentives.
>>> I can't see any alternative to explaining what somebody did and why it
>>> was important.
>>> To that end, the best resource for understanding the value of somebody's
>>> work is the kernel page--if their work has been discussed there.
>>> So, all you need to do is to hire a dozen more of you, and we're
>>> covered!
>>> --b.
>>>> Any thoughts on how to measure "consolidation effects"? I toss out
>>>> numbers on code removal sometimes, but that turns out to not be a whole
>>>> lot more useful than anything else on its own.
>>>> Thanks,
>> Resurrecting this one.
>> So something just came across my mind: When I first read this thread, my
>> inner reaction was: "People will find ways to bypass and ill-optimize
>> their workflow for whatever measure we come up with".
>> That's is pure human nature. Whenever we set up a metric, that becomes a
>> goal and a bunch of people - not all - will deviate from their expected
>> workflow to maximize that number. This happens with paper count in the
>> scientific community, for the Higgs Boson's sake! Why wouldn't it happen
>> with *any* metric we set for ourselves?
>> So per-se, the fact that we have a lot of people trying to find out what
>> our metrics are, and look good in the face of it, is just a testament to
>> the success of Linux - but we know that already.
>> The summary here, is that I don't think patch count *per se* is a bad
>> metric. Maybe we should just tweak the way we measure a bit to steer
>> people towards doing more useful work, and that would aid our review.
>> The same way we have checkpatch, we can have something automated that
>> will attempt to rule out some trivial patches in the counting process.
>> We can scan a patch, and easily determine if each part of it is:
>> * pure whitespace
>> * pure Documentation change
>> * comment fix
>> And if a patch is 100 % comprised by those, we simply don't count it.
>> People that just want to increase their numbers - they will always
>> exist, will tend to stop doing that. Simply because doing it will not
>> help them at all.
> OTOH, documentation changes or comment fixes, and even sometimes pure whitespace
> fixes, can be very valuable contributions. This can be a useful and ungrateful
> work and that deserve credit.

Very true!

Srivatsa S. Bhat

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