Plz Review is a tool that streamlines the code review process for teams.
We view code reviews as one of the most important areas in the development process. When done well, code review can be less a chore and more a way to encourage code quality and health, create a sense of shared responsibility and ownership, and help mentor other developers. We feel ill-served by the current products on the market, specifically by GitHub’s PR model and workflow. And using an alternative today requires a prohibitive investment for setup and maintenance of our own source code infrastructure.
plz.review connects to your GitHub account [or org] and then provides a command line utility and web interface for managing your PRs, and the PRs you’ve been asked to review. It aims to be a vastly more pleasant experience over using GitHub directly for PR and review management.
A better code workflow experience leads to happier developers, better reviews, and a better codebase.
Current state of the world / problems solved
Teams that don’t run their own code/git hosting infrastructure use GitHub (or competitors) for storing and versioning their code
If they use GitHub, the use Pull Requests (PRs) to manage their changes and get them reviewed (ideally).
Managing PRs and code reviews solely in GH is a drag
The interface is “fine” but requires browser extensions to power up (namely, keyboard shortcuts)
Doesn’t show you the “right” diffs: e.g. as a reviewer it’s difficult to see diffs since your last comment
Notifications are not at the right level of granularity and difficult to manage
The GitHub PR model of development encourages large changes since it’s difficult to manage “chains” of related changes
This is one of core concerns and areas to try to improve
I can’t easily track PRs and reviews across multiple repos.
What do I have in progress? What is waiting for my feedback/LGTM? There is no centralized dashboard for PRs.
Gerrit and Phabricator (see below) appear to solve many of these problems with an improved workflow and UX, but they require in-house git instances and are a pain to set up and maintain, requiring a large investment from an IT or devops team. We’d aim to isolate the “review” pieces from these systems and map them to GH via their api’s.
we want to bring this feature set to git-as-a-service users.
UI will not help you resolve them. Instead, you should either:
Use the GH UI to resolve the conflicts. This is accomplished by adding commits to the PR, entirely through the GH web UI. The PR changes will be reflected in plz.review.
Resolve conflicts locally using the Git CLI in the usual fashion, and then re-upload the changes.
How exactly does a review relate to a GH PR?
A review corresponds to a GitHub PR one-to-one. Changes to the PR are reflected in the review. For example, if a user uploads new commits to a PR, those changes are seen as a new revision in plz.review.
What do we sync back to GH?
TODO, but we will attempt to mirror back to GH whenever possible to try to keep PR state updated.
The web UI will provide a few key views:
This is a list of PRs ー either my own, my list of PRs to review, a list of open PRs on a project, or someone else’s list of PRs. Lots of ways to filter/organize and present these review lists.
A given list will have rows of reviews, which would include:
PR Title, Date created, Author, Reviewers, Review State, Number of comments (or latest comment metadata), etc
All the code changes for a given file, presented as a list of diffs.
A diff is... one set of lines of code in any given file, with some amount of surrounding code context. We refer to these as “hunks” sometimes. For later: we could also show individual diffs in an alternate presentation (ie, divorced from their parent file context).