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Re: [RFE] Migration to gitlab

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: [RFE] Migration to gitlab
Date: Mon, 13 May 2019 04:43:00 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.6.1

On 10.05.2019 23:43, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

Yes, my point was that having to work via a Web browser will need to
switch frequently between it and Emacs.  Which is an annoyance, to say
the least.

I can believe that, even if I don't really understand it.

Let me try to explain.

Before I reply to the rest, I'd like to clarify: my surprise was at the declared difficulty of switching between the web browser and Emacs. Which, by itself, is a few keypresses.

Working with the debbugs package inside Emacs also requires some keypresses, some context switching, and it changes the window configuration in the current Emacs session, which is also a cost.

In any editing environment that is not Emacs I lack many features that
make my work significantly more efficient.  I miss the almost instant
completion with M-/ (since I have the Emacs manuals and the TAGS
tables loaded into Emacs at all times, all the symbols are instantly
found, and I seldom if ever need to type long names like
mark_window_display_accurate_1).  I miss my abbrevs (which also allow
me to fix some of my more frequent typos, or type stuff like "naïve" o
"façade" without switching keyboard).  I miss the convenience of being
able to jump to any function/macro/typedef with just "C-u M-."  (or
even just M-. if I'm in a code buffer).  I miss the multi-buffer
search capabilities and Grep.  I miss a more-or-less immediate access
to the Git repository.  I miss the capability to apply a patch which
I'm looking at, and be able to compile the result right after that,
right from the editor.

Out of these, I still use Emacs for more or less everything but abbrevs and word completion. IOW, for everything except writing prose, and I still might copy-paste some snippets of code or text between it and the web browser or the email client.

Writing text in something other than Emacs is not particularly enjoyable, but turns out, certain kinds of text are fetched/rendered/displayed better in other tools. And you generally have to edit the said kinds of text in the same tools that you're reading them in. In particular, after a few years of trying Gnus for email, I went back to Thunderbird, losing with that all the benefits of everything-inside-Emacs email workflow. So the use of web browser doesn't make it worse (and makes certain other things better).

Instead, GitLab wants me to use the Web browser for most of these.

As per above, I disagree.

This means the Web browser now becomes a very important program for
me, I need to start learning it much more than I bothered until now, I
need to keep it updated at all times, I need to customize it (more
things to learn and try), etc.

That is true, of course. Alas, the contemporary Internet makes browsers quite indispensable.

Anyway, IIRC your current stance on that issue is that we'll need an
Emacs-based client anyway, even just for the issues tracker.

I don't have a "stance".  My personal preference is to do as much as
possible from within Emacs, certainly any significant text/source code
editing related to Emacs maintenance.  I would be very unhappy if
forced instead to use a text-editing widget of a browser, and its
rudimentary email capabilities.

Speaking of email capabilities, GitLab does offer some improvements, such as reliable subscription to discussions, as well as being able to unsubscribe. And, when used correctly, no duplicate emails are going to arrive. The "from" email address in its messages might look weird, but it serves a purpose.

Two possible ways of working with an issue tracker that don't require
me to switch from Emacs are: (1) email and (2) an Emacs front-end.
Either one, or even a combination of them, will, for me, be much
better than a pure Web UI.

To be fair, the GitLab documentation, as well as Salsa FAQ (see my another message), give the impression that most operations *are* possible to do via email.

Click on one of them and choose the last item: Custom. You will then be
able to choose the events to get notifications for.

MR reassignments are in that list.

I cannot see it, because I cannot log in.  Are there only 2
possibilities: all or nothing?  I do want to see reassignments to

I'm not sure, but your question is very reasonable. Maybe it already works like we'd expect (e.g. the configuration affects all issues in general, but the issues where you're subscribed directly, either manually or by a mention, will send all notifications).

We could ask someone or just try it out.

Here's also the same information on the API level:

Where is each value described?  The names are not descriptive enough,
and I couldn't find any details about them.  Did I miss something?

You can search the documentation or ask. I think (as a person familiar with GitLab) that all names are quite descriptive.

The configuration page inside your GitLab profile (one I've linked to) has slightly different, maybe easier to understand descriptions.

Not sure if that list is exhaustive, or if there are emails we'd want to
configure off but cannot. That would, again, be something to ask the
GitLab developers for.

If there's no more detailed documentation, I think we should ask them
now what does exist and what is possible to have given some small

Maybe Toon could ask, or answer the question himself.

Email filters are the last resort in my book.  It would also be in
yours, if you considered a possibility to work via email.

But I already do, here.

I never needed to set up any filters.  Never.  It sounds very wrong to
me that I need to set up a filter to defend myself against my own

Well, I routinely get duplicate emails because I'm both subscribed to emacs-devel and the bug tracker, and also get Cc'd. I ignore that, but some people suggested technical solutions.

No, I'm suggesting to use it as a sandbox at first. Post some random
issues, close them, reopen them, write some comments, receive comments
from others, respond to them over email, etc, and see how well that
works, and what the main problems are.

To post a new issue, you can navigate to
https://emba.gnu.org/emacs/emacs/issues and click "New issue". This also
requires registration (at least, for now (**)).

I will try to find time for this, but it won't happen soon: there are
several urgent tasks on my plate.  Perhaps someone else could do that
and post the experiences.

Everybody is welcome to try and report. I've opened one issue, but I can't really test everything by myself.

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