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Re: [RFE] Migration to gitlab

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: [RFE] Migration to gitlab
Date: Fri, 10 May 2019 14:16:30 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.6.1

On 10.05.2019 12:49, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

Note how you again start from a change, not from a report of some
issue/bug.  As Emacs is a very old and stable project, most of our
changes fix bugs, not add new features.  Therefore, use cases that
begin with issues are much more important to the workflow and to
assessing the utility of the tools.

Like I also described previously, GitLab provides extra features for code reviews, so it's often natural to describe them first (as a sales pitch, so to speak).

I understand. That's why I want to figure out whether we can add changes
to GitLab, so (almost) everything also can be done outside the
webbrowser, and from emacs. Or maybe build something like the debbugs
package for emacs.

Personally, I think an Emacs client is almost a must, if we want to
consider something like GitLab seriously.

I think you're already expecting the hypothetical person to have debbugs installed and Gnus configured, and view the bug through the debbugs package.

Whereas a random user starts with staring at the (very bare-bones) bug report page in the browser.

I didn't mean the commit itself, I meant Emacs sources in general.  I
frequently need to look up source fragments and definitions of various
macros and structs when I review a patch.  Since the browser have no
idea where the sources are, and is not in general a good tool for
viewing sources of a software project, it is much less helpful here.

You can always pull the branch with changes that a user proposed, it's not hard to automate, and switch to it (if you're not worried about it doing something untoward in your Emacs).

Most of the time, with smaller patches, you can just read them but still use Emacs to navigate inside the current version of the code, to get a decent understanding. That's my usual workflow, but maybe yours differs.

Probably the most complicated about the current bug tracker, at least
from irregular contributor's POV, is interacting to a existing bug:
Where do I send the email to? Who do I CC? How do I set In-Reply-To?

In any decent MUA (certainly with Emacs MUAs), this is almost trivial:
the defaults always DTRT.  You don't need to think about any of that.

Again, that already requires that the user is starting with an email.

Also: is GMail a "decent MUA"? I haven't used it for years, but it's the most popular MUA on the planet now. And that's a fact.

On debbugs, I also always forget how to use the control server

Having a need to use the control command is rare, so I don't think
this is a serious disadvantage.

Rare to set the "found in" or "fixed in" versions? Or retitle a bug? Or reopen? Or assign it to somebody?

Besides, tricky control commands will
give you that with any tool.

That's simply not true. A good tool will make a certain set of commands easy.

GitLab fixes that by showing buttons for actions like

There are maybe 2 or 3 people in the Emacs project who use these
actions, so I'm not sure why we should be so interested in them.

If they were easier to do, *I* would do them more often. How's that for an argument?

Yes, I tried to stress the importance of email too. I regret to hear the
email interface of GitLab didn't work for you. I'll have a look whether
I can suggest changes to make the "litter" configurable. But besides
from that, are there any other annoyances you've encountered so far?

I don't know.  If the email notifications can be configured to work
reasonably well, and could be responded to by email, that might be
enough to start a more serious evaluation of the workflow.

If you're saying that we don't change labels of reassign bugs often, how are occasional notifications for these actions a problem?

I've tried to recall whether I receive them as well at my day job (we use GitLab) and... at first, I thought I don't get them at all. Them I remembered that MR reassignment emails do get sent. It just happens very rarely. But if it happens, that's an important action, so I don't understand why you don't want to be notified (they can probably be configured anyway).

More importantly, one can easily *unsubscribe* from particular discussions. For instance, when the bug been forwarded to somebody who has all the necessary expertise and responsibility. That can cut down on email traffic quite a bit.

And one more thing: Emacs is I think special in how we work as a
team.  Most of the people who respond to bug report and review patches
have write access to the repository, and many of them are trusted to
push changes without approval.  It sounds like Gitlab has a very
different team organization in mind, but maybe I'm mistaken.

At work, we all have commit/push access to the project repositories.

And yet, the Merge Request workflow is still helpful, and it's what we use to collaborate, discuss and push most features.

We could consider being able to access MR from people without commit access as a bonus.

But the workflow is not set in stone, we as Emacs developers can choose our own.

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