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I was trying to answer, and then the wifi on the commuter rail cut out... so I'm retyping it two hours later.

Niles, you should totally review Trac tickets. You are really asking two questions.

  1. Should I really review tickets?

  2. How much do I need to know in order to do so?

The second question is more at what William and John are saying, and their points are good. But my opinion is that nearly all Sage developers are more likely to err on the side of not reviewing stuff because they feel incompetent/unqualified (mathematically or for the reasons you give) to do so, so I am not so worried about that.

Just don't review those tickets. Review ones where you know there hasn't been a formatting change, or it doesn't affect doctesting (or it fixes one) or whatever. Someone will almost certainly correct you if you are wrong, too, with these relatively simple ones, at least the release manager. Ask someone else to comment (like the others suggest).

But DO the reviews! This is the only way Sage gets better. I think this is really what you were asking. I am certain that starting with small reviews will lead to you getting better and being able to do more. You already know more just from the mistakes you've made than a lot of reviewers. I suppose I also have personal trust that you will be at least as conscientious as I was when I started. You will make mistakes, but that's ok, as it leads to better code long term.