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LGTM is an acronym for "Looks Good To Me" that is primarily used by programmers to express's one approval or favorable feedback during the review process of a software product. While the slang term is believed to have been used by developers since as early as the mid-to-late 2000s, it entered the general lexicon of online coding communities during the early 2010s, particularly on the code repository hosting service Github.
While the story behind the coinage of LGTM remains murky at best, the earliest known use and explanation of the acronym can be traced to a feature summary of Google Mondrian, a peer-review software application for programmers, posted by Niall Kennedy on November 30th, 2006. In explaining the most common method of peer-review, Kennedy mentions how reviewers would typically type in "LGTM" to express their approval, especially when communicating via email.
Previous to Mondrian code review was conducted largely over e-mail using Google command-line wrappers built on top of Perforce. A developer could initiate a code review from within the g4 mail tool, which would fire off an e-mail and begin a review thread. When the developer receives a response of “looks good to me,” or lgtm for short, they could proceed to checkin.
- author edits changes in workspace & tests
- author sends email to reviewer
- reviewer views diff
- reviewer sends email back
- possible email discussion
- when reviewer gives it's OK (lgtm) authors submits changes
Following the launch of the code-sharing community Github in April 2008, LGTM became widely adopted by members on the site, particularly when leaving feedback in the comments section.
On April 12th, 2010, software engineer Rachel Kroll wrote a blog post pointing out the double-entendre behind using a custom-engraved rubber stamp for LGTM, since the widespread usage of the acronym itself suggests a lack of substantial deliberation in the review process, a behavior that is otherwise known as "rubber stamping"
On February 24th, 2013, deviantART member Nushe4ka uploaded a photograph of a 3D-printed rubber stamp featuring "LGTM" as its engraving. In July 2013, an online database of LGTM-specific reaction GIFs was launched under the domain LGTM. In addition, a slew of LGTM reaction images can be found on popular GIF and media-sharing sites like GIPHY and Tumblr.
 Niall Kennedy – Google Mondrian: web-based code review and storage
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