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Re: feature request: Show size of delta on Log Messages dialog

From: Stefan Küng <tortoisesvn_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2006-09-06 22:36:35 CEST

Jim Bolla wrote:
> A useful feature for our team to have added to TortoiseSVN would be
> another column in the 2 list controls (Revisions and Files) on the "Log
> Messages" dialog. This column would be called "Delta" and would be an
> indication of the size of the changes between that revision and the
> previous. The unit of measure could be either lines or bytes...
> modified/added/deleted (summated).

To get that information, TSVN would have to do a complete diff for each
revision. That would take a *very* long time. And when I say very long I
really mean it. It would basically mean several seconds (up to several
minutes) per *revision*! And the stress on the server would be huge too.

So no, I have to deny your feature request. Sorry.

> This would hep us in 2 ways. The first is in doing code review on a
> per-commit basis; knowing the delta size would help the reviewer
> anticipate the amount of effort required for the review. Secondly, we
> are trying to promote "small atomic commits" as recommended as a
> Subversion best practice. Having some kind of metric out front to help
> guage this would help our team generate some feedback towards this goal.
> Our team could then ask "How are we doing on small/atomic commits as
> compared to earlier?" and "How come this commit required such a large
> modification? What about our codebase should be changed to mitigate this
> in the future?" This feature could improve both our use of Subversion
> and even our development practices.

Let me guess: you're not a developer but a manager or group leader?

A little piece of advice: measuring the amount of review effort based on
the delta is (sorry for the bad word) just plain stupid. The *only*
indicator what effort it takes to review a change is the log message,
nothing else. If you start measuring the efforts of a project based on
the delta or the number of commits, you will end up forcing the
developers to commit many non-functional commits just to "show" the
management that they're working.
For example, a little code cleanup (changing the formatting of the code,
fixing spelling mistakes in the comments, adding bogus comments, ...)
will lead to a big delta, but the effort it took for that change is
almost zero. A single one line change however sometimes takes hours to
do: that line could be the source of a serious bug which was hard to
find. So you see, the delta is something which in reality has little or
no value at all.

If you can't find a better way to measure effort or progress in your
project, I can assure you that your project will be doomed from the start.


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Received on Wed Sep 6 23:05:27 2006

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