reviewing on GitLab
rae at richarde.dev
Thu Jun 6 19:33:59 UTC 2019
I've just reviewed !364, and it was a painful experience. Perhaps documenting why will help spur more UI innovations.
- My review was in response to several of the author's in-line comments, which themselves were in response to previous in-line comments. This has to be a common scenario.
- The *only* place I could get a simple listing of all the new comments was in my notification email. Neither the Discussion tab nor the Changes tab on GitLab allow me to collect recent comments, as they new comments are placed directly below the old comments, each of which started at different points in time.
- The Discussions tab has all the comments somewhere. But for each comment, I had to search (with Ctrl+F) on the page to find the corresponding comment trail, so I could get context. The order on the Discussions tab was unrelated to the order in my email.
- Actually, not all comments were on the Discussions page, because the commit author had *resolved* a discussion. In this case, though, I still wanted to comment. So I had to search (with Ctrl+F) for "resolved" so I could find the comment trail and unresolve it.
- The Changes page has much more code context than the Discussions page. So I had that open, too, so I could scroll through the code. Not all the comments appeared on the Changes page, because the most interesting, most important files are always hidden by default. Even after expanding the relevant files, the comment trails did not always appear. Perhaps 30 seconds wasn't enough waiting.
- All this means that this was my workflow:
1. Scroll through my notification email to see the author's next comment.
2. Ctrl+F with the text of that comment to find it on the Discussion tab. (Ctrl+F for "resolved" if the first search fails.)
3. If necessary, then use the line numbers and source file names from the Discussions tab to find the the relevant code in the Changes tab... which were often offset by a few lines, as things churn.
I needed three windows open to complete a fairly simple review!
I believe this is easy to fix: make the Discussions tab *chronological*. And have a link from the comment on the Discussions page to the Changes page that warps you to just the right spot in the code, with the full commentary context. (Right now, the link from the Discussions page just brings you to the file in the Changes page, not the line.)
I know this isn't the first time we've suggested this or complained, but I'm not aware of progress (or even "it's on our queue") from GitLab. Has that happened? Is there a way to prioritize this? This review process is really a drag!
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