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Re: GOP-PROP 13: patch management tools

From: Alex Austin
Subject: Re: GOP-PROP 13: patch management tools
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 22:28:45 -0600

Openocd has been using gerrit for a month now. You can go to to see how it's being used, and read the HACKING file in the source tree to see how it should be used.

On Nov 30, 2011 5:52 PM, <address@hidden> wrote:

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 11:23:10AM +0200, address@hidden wrote:

> I don't know anything about open source projects outside of LilyPond,
> but could someone branched into other GNU projects perhaps collect
> this sort of info?

Having participated in or followed a number of free software projects
(both GNU and other) over the years, I don't know of *any* besides
LilyPond that uses a dedicated patch review tool. (Including the very
largest ones, such as Linux or GCC.) Reviews are done almost exclusively
by email -- and quite frankly, I don't see why anything else would be
preferred for the actual review. The only problem is tracking the status
of patches *afterwards*...

(Most projects also have some kind of issue tracker; and some use these
for patch reviews occasionally -- but they are generally unloved, as
they usually don't interact well with mailing lists...)

The sanest option seems to be

  Patchwork is a web-based patch tracking system designed to facilitate
  the contribution and management of contributions to an open-source

  Patches that have been sent to a mailing list are 'caught' by the
  system, and appear on a web page. Any comments posted that reference
  the patch are appended to the patch page too.

  The project's maintainer can then scan through the list of patches,
  marking each with a certain state, such as Accepted, Rejected or
  Under Review. Old patches can be sent to the archive or deleted.

This doesn't address general issue tracker integration. that is a much
more complex problem: while patches can be discovered automatically, and
only need manual status updates, general issue tracking always requires
explicit classification. Although some issue trackers (such as debbugs,
RT, or nowadays even bugzilla) can be operated through email, this
doesn't mean they integrate with mailing lists seamlessly.

Obviously nobody has found the silver bullet yet :-) (And certainly not
for the lack of trying... This discussion comes up repeatedly in pretty
much every project I know.)


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