[dpdk-dev] Understanding of Acked-By

Van Haaren, Harry harry.van.haaren at intel.com
Wed Jan 25 14:53:12 CET 2017

( Was [dpdk-dev] [PATCH v4] ethdev: fix MAC address replay, CC-ed are participants of that thread http://dpdk.org/ml/archives/dev/2017-January/056278.html )

Hi All,

There was an idea (from Thomas) to better document the Acked-by and Reviewed-By in the above thread, which I think is worth doing to make the process clearer. I'll kick off a thread*, and offer to submit a patch for the documentation when a consensus is reached.

The question that needs to be addressed is "What is the most powerful signoff to add as somebody who checked a patch?"

The documentation mentions Acked, Reviewed, and Tested by[1], as signoffs that can be commented on patches. The Review Process[2] section mentions Reviewed and Tested by, but nowhere specifically states what any of these indicate.

Offered below is my current understanding of the Acked-by; Reviewed-by; and Tested-by tags, in order of least-powerful first:

3) Tested-by: (least powerful)
  - Indicates having passed testing of functionality, and works as expected for Tester
  - Does NOT include full code review (instead use Reviewed by)
  - Does NOT indicate that the Tester understands architecture (instead use Acked by)

2) Reviewed-by:
  - Indicates having passed code-review, checkpatch and compilation testing by Reviewer
  - Does NOT include full testing of functionality (instead use Tested-by)
  - Does NOT indicate that the Reviewer understands architecture (instead use Acked by)

1) Acked-by: (most powerful)
   - Indicates Reviewed-by, but also:
   - Acker understands impact to architecture (if any) and agrees with changes
   - Acker has performed runtime sanity check
   - Requests "please merge" to maintainer
   - Level of trust in Acked-by based on previous contributions to DPDK/networking community

The above is a suggested interpretation, alternative interpretations welcomed.

[1] http://dpdk.org/doc/guides/contributing/patches.html#commit-messages-body
[2] http://dpdk.org/doc/guides/contributing/patches.html#the-review-process

* Apologies for the slightly bike-shed topic

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