How get code upstreamed to OpenOffice.org

Contributing code to the OpenOffice.org repository is not easy, there are a lot of rules to follow. In the past there were again questions about these rules like:
  • Have really all child workspaces passed this rules ?
  • Do I have to comply with all these rules, I only have just a small change to make ?
We have to keep in mind that we want to achieve to major objectives with these rules:
  • keep the quality of the build, meaning we are everytime able to release
  • keep integration of new or changed code smooth, don't break the build
Since we introduced these rules we made major steps forward: we now have less build breakages than before and we also experiences less P1 issues when a build has been completed. But we still experience faults when integrating code back to upstream. If we look into these issues, we soon discover two categories: issues which could have been avoided if all rules would have been followed and those, which simply haven't been covered by test cases or where the cost-value ratio is too high. We have now this situation:
  • These rules can't ensure that no failures will happen at reasonable cost
  • Understanding the objectives of these rules help to avoid integration failures
This leads to the practice that we look at the cost-value ratio for many child workspaces: workspace for enhancing build environment, localization or build fixes will often get a check by code review to get integrated fast, others with feature enhancements will get even more attention by our GateKeeper (Joerg Sievers mark those cws with a pin). I as the Release Manager for the current code line look into many child workspaces and look if a owner of a child workspace needs help or even more control. The good news is that most people involved in this are pretty good in understanding our goals and apply to the rules as needed. If there are questions left please don't hesitate to ask your project leads for guidance or help to get your child workspace finally integrated. So the answer to the two above questions is a "no, but ...".
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Martin Hollmichel

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