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SubjectRe: [Ksummit-2012-discuss] [ATTEND or not ATTEND] That's the question!
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@linutronix.de> 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 lwn.net 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.

We just can't find an automated and right way to evaluate a contribution.


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