Solution - Threaded Change Messages


When user replies to the review message (using REPLY button in Change Log entry) original message content is used as a source of the new message however relation between them is not captured and as a result harder to follow.

Solution would be to distinguish between the human feedback that is stored as comment-like entity (and can be displayed in threads) and notarial part (automatically generated descriptions like Uploaded patch set X, etc.) that is presented linearly in Change Log.

Detailed Design

User’s feedback will be divided into two parts:

  • notarial part that contains automatically generated description of performed action (e.g. Uploaded patch set 6., Patch Set 6: Code-Review+1, etc.) that is still going to be stored in ChangeMessage (no changes here);
  • feedback part - written by the reviewer; it will be stored as Comment entity with a reference to patch set and optionally reference to a different comment.

UI will be responsible to present Change Log notarial part of feedback linearly, similarly to what is being presented now. Feedback parts will be mentioned in Change Log e.g.

| User Name
| Patch Set 4:
| PS 4: The 1st feedback that requires resolution
| PS 4: The 2nd feedback that requires resolution
| a/file/path
|   Line 10: This is a line comment

and display in threads in Comment Threads tab (tab rules of showing Only unresolved thread, etc. applied).


No scalability impact is expected:

  • notarial part is going to be stored as it was before
  • feedback part is going to be stored the same way as we do for comments and robotcomments: to be decided if existing /meta ref should be used and RevisionNoteData entity extended with list of dedicated type (could be Comment descendant but considering review feedback it would be more likely dedicated entity) or different (e.g. /feedback) ref should be introduced and new NoteDB entity created.

Alternatives Considered

Building message threads by analysis of change message content. That seems to be substantial computational effort (to be performed on client side) and is not guaranteed to deliver stable/valid results.

Pros and Cons

  • clear indication of user’s review comments relation that can be effectively used in Comment Threads UI to present data to user

Implementation Plan

  1. Rework general REPLY dialog so that notarial part is stored in ChangeMessage entity and feedback part is stored in Comment entity.

    Extend corresponding endpoint to publish Change Message and Comment at once.

    There is no plan to migrate existing messages to split them into notarial and feedback part which practically means that they will be seen as notarial.

    Existing submit rules need to be revised and modified in case it is necessary (e.g. all comments resolved is the one to be updated). It has to be assured that file comments and feedback comments are displayed and handled properly in Comment Threads tab with/without filters applied.

  2. Modify UI so that:

    • Resolved flag is visible and Reviewer can mark review feedback as one that needs to be resolved (default) or mark it as resolved (for appreciation).
    • There is no longer the REPLY button in Change Log next to the notarial entry related to review’s feedback as it wouldn’t allow to answer multiple threads. Instead reply should be performed in the Comment Threads tab (one could use link(s) presented in front of the message body - PS 4 in the example above) in the same manner it is done for file comments now.
    • Multiple draft replies are published through general review feedback dialog (the same way as inline comments are published).
    • Change Log tab messages ordering is not impacted by this change.

Time Estimation

Backend: 2MW

UI: 1MW?