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Re: [RFE] Migration to gitlab

From: Ergus
Subject: Re: [RFE] Migration to gitlab
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:03:44 +0100
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

On Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 08:27:10AM +0100, Philippe Vaucher wrote:

> Sending patches via email is only one requirement.  There are other
> requirements peculiar to Emacs, which will not go away if we switch to
> another patch submitting system.  Some of these requirements, each and
> every one of them flagged at some point as an obstacle for newcomers:
>    . code submissions should include documentation
>    . commit log messages should be formatted in a certain way
>    . bug numbers should be referenced in log messages
>    . US English conventions in writing comments and documentation
>      (spelling, two spaces between sentences, etc.)
>    . we require copyright assignments for accepting changesets larger
>      than about 15 original source lines
>    . we have peculiar rules regarding the branch were certain changes
>      should be pushed (affects the branch against which contributors
>      should prepare patches)
>    . very elaborate coding and documenting conventions (their
>      description takes around 900 lines in the ELisp manual)

At least some of these checks could be automated on a CI. And the author
of a random PR would get an overview of its compliance automatically.

Also when someone creates a PR (or Issue), there can be template text (with
checkboxes, etc) stating these points, so the author has a direct reminder
to improve the quality of his PR or Issue before he sends it.

And if he does not check all the checboxes and submit anyway, then the
maintainer's job is easier because he already knows the missing parts.

I believe this whole discussion is basically this: the ones who are used to
a gitlab workflow see the obvious benefits, and the ones who only use the
email workflow don't see what's so great about it because they always find
a manual/configuration-heavy way to achieve the same.

I think the manual/configuration-heavy way is not very smooth and makes
_you_ work instead of the tools, when this effort could be better spent
improving Emacs.

Kind regards,

I agree with Philippe and Konstantin. The gitlab interface and workflow
is more attractive for new developers that use to work with
gitlab/bitbuclet/github everyday. On the other hand it will make the
process to report bugs in emacs (from the client side) much easier and
easier to follow. I am refering here to the gitlab installer package.

I already talked to this some months ago. The workflow for pull
requests, interaction between users and feature requests is very sparse
and unfamiliar for young users and developers.

With some minimal corrections the gitlab program could provide backward
compatibility with the mailing list and present the discussions in the
interface as issues OR sent the issues reported in the interface to the
mailing list. So both workflows can be made compatible.

This is something that we could ask to the gitlab developers to
implement (if not already implemented) for our use case and they will be
very pleased to help. (Normally they are)

The alternative is to improve and implement all these things in the
current savannah web interface (or organize it better), but it is like
reinventing the wheel and will require some manpower not available.

The gitlab team could be very interested in providing support to emacs
and other gnu programs because that's a good reputation for the package
and will strengthen them in the competition with github/MS to host free
software. So it is mutual benefit, even if we use only the installer and
not their servers.

My last point is from the normal (not developer) user point of view in
2019. When a normal user finds an issue/bug/feature request it finds
that there is not web interface for that, so he can report the issue
with emacs, but many people don't configure their mail in emacs, they
use thunderbird or web interfaces for that.

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