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Re: On commit access, patch review, and remaining healthy

From: Efraim Flashner
Subject: Re: On commit access, patch review, and remaining healthy
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 2022 10:08:44 +0300

On Fri, Jun 03, 2022 at 09:37:36PM +0200, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> Hi,
> Brian Cully <> skribis:
> > Ludovic Courtès <> writes:
> >
> >>     If you are using Emacs, does debbugs.el have
> >>     shortcomings that make it a problem to review patches?
> To be clear, the question was directed primarily at current committers.
> > 1) It’d be nice if ‘M-x debbug-guix’ existed. I (briefly) looked at
> > making such a command, thinking it’d be relatively straight-forward to
> > just copy ‘debbugs-gnu’ and tweak some variables, but when it looked
> > like it was going to take more than 10 minutes just to figure out how
> > it was all put together I gave up as I can’t really dedicate time to
> > it right now.
> Try: C-u M-x debbugs-gnu.  From there you can choose ‘guix’,
> ‘guix-patches’, or anything else (info "(guix) Debbugs User
> Interfaces").
> > 2) IMHO, the documentation for debbugs is pretty poor. It mostly
> > relies on GNUS documentation for things like mode help; and while this
> > makes sense, GNUS is a big, complex package (which is why I use mu4e
> > instead of it), and it really raises the barrier for understanding
> > debbugs quite a lot.
> I find the Debbugs User Guide, plus the docstrings and all, to be good
> (info "(debbugs-ug) Top").
> I use Gnus though so maybe there are issues I just don’t experience.
> > 3) Even after reading all the documentation I could find, it doesn’t
> > seem to work very well for an issue-tracker workflow. I still don’t
> > know how to simply reply to a ticket. Let alone how to apply a patch
> > to my tree (I did see documentation for how to do that to the Emacs
> > source tree, but that’s not very useful — also, the key combinations
> > feel very obtuse and hard for me to remember).
> >
> > So, right now, I just use it to browse, since I find it easier than
> > mumi, but everything else happens with external tools. It’s very
> > possible my n00b is showing right now and it’s easier to work with
> > than it seems at first blush, but I’d say that means the documentation
> > needs some dedicated, non-GNUS-oriented love. It would be very helpful
> > if there were a HOWTO, like we used to do in the old days, with how to
> > use it for simple tasks, and stick it in the info documentation and on
> > the web.
> Interesting.  Since I already used Gnus before, I didn’t have much to
> learn when I started using debbugs.el.
> I know some people here use debbugs.el with other email clients like
> mu4e, so perhaps they can comment?  We could add guidance in the manual.

As someone who has never used debbugs or emacs I find it daunting to try
to add it into my workflow. Currently I am subscribed to guix-patches
and I dump it into my guix-devel mailing list. I read my mail using mutt
and will just pipe the patches to git to apply them and try them out
that way. After years and years of this I'm pretty happy with this
aspect of my workflow, but finding older patches can be more
challenging. And in our case older can be only a week old.

Efraim Flashner   <>   אפרים פלשנר
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