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Do we need a Code Review forum?


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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 23 March 2013 - 02:45 PM

I'm sure the immediate answer is no. However, slowly but surely, I'm seeing more people, for the most part beginners, completing projects and posting their code for review. So, in the very likely case that we will not be having a code review forum, what would be the best way to go about having anyone post code that they want the community to review and comment on? Your thoughts? Personally, I don't know. That's why I'm asking.


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#2 Poigahn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 518

Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:34 PM

Counter Question - If their code works, why would they post for review ?  Normally, the post I see of code is because it does not work.  When my code works, I am happy, and I press on.  How about forming something to help young coders market their talents.  Or a Testers group.  A group formed to test compiled cose and give feedback ?


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#3 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8505

Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

Counter Question - If their code works, why would they post for review ?  Normally, the post I see of code is because it does not work.  When my code works, I am happy, and I press on.

Umm.. because sometimes you want to know how you could improve your design and generally write more elegant code? Going at it with the mindset that "if it compiles, it works" is a surefire way to get yourself in a productivity black hole once your code becomes impossible to maintain (and too expensive to refactor) as a result of brainless code-monkeying.

 

Code review does not mean "this does not work, fix it", it means "so I've done this, but this method here looks kind of awkward, how can I improve my interface to expose the minimum functionality possible while keeping it flexible, I need to query the database twice here, how could I refactor to require only one lookup, etc..", that kind of stuff.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

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#4 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4152

Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:36 PM

I like the idea. It seems like it would be very useful for people wanting to learn additional ways to solve problems.

But it might not be very convenient using the forum. Posting and quoting chunks of code is painful. We use tools at work let you view changes and add inline comments (like on Github or using Phabricator). We would need some tool like that integrated with (or linked from) this site for it to be truly excellent.

#5 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29399

Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:18 AM


If their code works, why would they post for review ? Normally, the post I see of code is because it does not work. When my code works, I am happy, and I press on.


In a lot of corporate coding environments, after you've finished a task but before you commit your work to the main project repository, you first go through a code review. This is where you and some colleagues go through the code to spot any subtle bugs that might not have manifested yet, spot any performance / resource usage pitfalls and to consider ways that the code could be simplified, e.g to reduce coupling and be made more maintainable.

#6 GeneralQuery   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1263

Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:59 AM

I like the idea but I must admit I get turned off by posts that open up with reams and reams of source code. I think such a forum would have to be somewhat structured to avoid it becoming a code dumping ground.



#7 EmployeeNumber8   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1103

Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

How would the other forums be moderated? Does it mean any topic that is started with source code in it must be moved to the code review forum? That could be a pain to moderate... unless it is made very clear, especially for new members.



#8 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3474

Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:24 AM

How would the other forums be moderated? Does it mean any topic that is started with source code in it must be moved to the code review forum? That could be a pain to moderate... unless it is made very clear, especially for new members.

 

I think it'd be a diffrence between if the poster is indicating they want their code to be checked over, or are just having a problem.

 

Personally, I can't say i've seen a decent volume of code review request posts that it warrants it's own forum yet.  But that's just me.


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#9 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:26 AM

It's not like the requests are overflowing, however there has been a steady uptick in them lately. Plus, as developers I would think we would want a place to post code for review, if we wanted it. The question, that I have, is what's the best way to go about it. Should we have groundrules, templates, certain tags (as examples)? Should there be a forum? Should we just tell other users to post elsewhere and post a link here?


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#10 mhagain   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7816

Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:31 PM

Counter Question - If their code works, why would they post for review ?  Normally, the post I see of code is because it does not work.  When my code works, I am happy, and I press on.

 

You need to define what you mean by "works"?  Does it compile clean?  Are there subtle bugs?  Does it run fast?  Does it integrate well?  Is it maintainable?  Is it even readable?  Todays working code can quite easily become an absolute nightmare in 6 months time, and one of the reasons for reviewing code is to help prevent that from happening.


It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.


#11 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

So no ideas huh?


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#12 Ectara   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2913

Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

I think this would be a good idea. I know that I, personally, have had a couple instances where I've completed a task, but I knew it was either slow or hackish, and I sought out advice from an outside perspective to find out what someone else thinks about it.






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