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Discussion on: Dear, Code Reviewer

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Sean Walton

Our team has a simple rule: "All styles rule." There are styles that drive me crazy (like the 1- or 2-indent), and when I review something I have to be able to read it. If the style is inordinate, I ask to be recused. I do not have the time to run it through a filter and then justify it -- even for perusal.
Along a similar vein that I try with some success to get teammates to follow the same style when editing someone else's code. It is bad enough when a style is hard to read, but having a file with multiple styles mishmashed together looks completely unprofessional and can easily hide defects.
Complaints about style are the most useless contribution to code reviews. It effectively says: "I don't like your face" while ignoring the everything else.
I've held formal code reviews, a la Hewlett Packard. The rule there was that the author has the right to ignore/dismiss ANY comments even if legitimate. If they are show-stoppers, the author has to justify them to their manager. Also, all comments are rated in their severity by the whole review team.