My first experience on Gerrit

Matteo Casalin matteo.casalin at
Sat Jul 28 03:47:39 PDT 2012

Hi all,
     just my first impressions about gerrit, hoping it could be useful 
to improve the developer experience.

* Registration with OpenID: no all providers are accepted:
   (first choice, seen suggested on a mail for initial announce), was
   not. It could be useful to add a list of supported providers in the

* Single patch submission: went smooth, no problem at all.

* Set my rep for further work: it took me some time to understand that
   I had to execute a "nextchange" command, I initially thought it was
   necessary to sequentially submit successive patches if more than one
   was queued. I had to give a look to the logerrit script to clarify
   what it was needed for.

* Fixes for the submitted patch. Not so easy to do, after a nextchange
   (but I could have been over-complicating the process). From the
   "nextchange" study I understood that backups were created, with some
   internet-search I got to the commands that restored the backup branch
   as my master, then I applied the required modifications and finally
   pushed the new revision. The last part of the process was quite easy,
   but I would say that some logerrit commands to restore a backup and
   commit the patch would be useful. Something alike:
    * logerrit backups - to list the available backups
    * logerrit restore <desired backup> - to set the desired backup as
   or, even better, backups could be named also by the change-id
   (if they are not yet) and a "logerrit restore <change-id>" could be
   more user-friendly. Also, some logerrit support for identifying and
   removing no more needed backups would be nice.

* Gerrit mails. I understand that there's some work ongoing on this, my
   impression at that time was that they were not so clear, too much text
   without useful information.
   Also the flow of action was a little bit confusing:
   1. I submitted a patch and a fix for it (patchset #2)
   2. Then I received a notification about a new patchset applied by
      "gerritbot", with no clear information on who changed what and
      why, the only way to understand this was to have a look a the
      diffs (on 72 files, realizing just on a second time that I needed
      to manually select the base for the diff somewhere higher on the
   3. Then a notification that the patch was committed
   4. Finally a comment that there were some minor optimizations that
      could be applied. I agree that this could be useful, but at first
      I found myself a little bit puzzled on which was the way to go. I
      proceeded with a new standalone patch.

Apart from these quirks, that hopefully can be solved, in my opinion the 
flow is quite usable and, maybe, a little more familiar than the 
mail-based one.


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