The art of landing patches (socially)

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at
Tue Feb 19 23:12:19 UTC 2019

On Mon, 2019-02-18 at 08:32 +0100, swen via samba-technical wrote:
> Friendly Ping ...
> Anyone ? Jeremy ?

G'Day Swen,

Just a note to give you clues on one possible challenge you are facing here. 

The art of landing a patch into Samba is not, as some suspect, to
produce the most technically correct or brilliant patch, but the subtle
art of persuasion:  To encourage a person who owes you nothing other
that they also have a general care for Samba, to spend time out of
their day to look at hour change in particular, and be easily (because
they are time poor) convinced it is desirable, safe and correct.

Because the leverage each of us has in this is so little, essentially
made up of goodwill, we must be very careful not to burn that

In my experience, the worst possible way to expend that leverage is
patch combat.  I might might 'win' on the technical points, but by that
stage everybody else who might have reviewed the change is standing
back from the bonfire and your interocular is exhausted (and so
singularly disinterested in then doing the work required for a diligent
review).  Sometimes it is the only way, but the costs are high and the
effort so often finds itself better spend on finding another approach,
even if 'inferior'. 

Therefore when we are at our best, we find a way to incorporate
feedback as much as possible, so our interocular feels an ownership of
the result and so has an even greater insentive to progress it.  It
also really helps to do this as early as possible in the review cycle.

To be clear, I don't think this is entirely fair, but I'm not sure that
fairness in patch submission is yet a mutually agreed principle (as
opposed to treating folks with respect, which is).

I hope this anecdote helps you and others a little in navigating
collaborating with Samba.

(I understand this is now how the patch has been re-presented, but I
fear the goodwill was already been spent). 

Andrew Bartlett

> -------- Forwarded Message --------
> From: swen via samba-technical <samba-technical at>
> Reply-To: swen at
> To: Jeremy Allison <jra at>
> Cc: samba-technical <samba-technical at>
> Subject: Re: [PATCH] Fix string to integer conversion
> Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2019 14:02:03 +0100
> Hi Jeremy
> On Mon, 2019-01-28 at 15:19 -0800, Jeremy Allison via samba-technical
> wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 02:43:36PM +0100, swen wrote:
> > 
> > > I still believe your suggested way is not good a good API.
> > > Anyhow, because I believe that that solution is still better than
> > > none,
> > > I will prepare a patch with your code suggestion.
> > 
> > Thanks Swen, but I'm out with the flu at the moment.
> > I'm hoping to get better so I can go to FOSDEM to
> > give my talk. I'll try and get to the patch as soon
> > as health permits.
> could be seen on samba-tech you're healthy again :-)
> Please find attached the updated version of the
> string conversion patch.
> I fixed 2-3 typos and ran it on gitlab...(at some stage with success).
> If time permits, please let me know if there's anything left to be
> done.
> Thanks for your support in advance.
> Cheers Swen
Andrew Bartlett
Authentication Developer, Samba Team
Samba Development and Support, Catalyst IT

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