What is the problem with ports PR reaction delays?

Alfred Perlstein alfred at freebsd.org
Sat Jan 25 08:55:54 UTC 2014

On 1/24/14, 11:45 PM, John Marino wrote:
> On 1/25/2014 05:16, Alfred Perlstein wrote:
>>> Thus, are you volunteering for this role?  It's not my call, but if you
>>> really want to do clean out and triage the all PRs on an ongoing basis,
>>> my guess is that would be very welcome and we'd figure out a way to set
>>> that up.  It would definitely help, especially for those maintainer that
>>> "approve" patches but the PRs never get opened (or set to a better state
>>> than "open").
>>> At some point we'll have a new PR system, that fact might be having an
>>> impact on current PRs as well...
>> To me it would speak of tooling as opposed to anything.
>> Does the ports system have a 1 or 2 click interface for merging PRs like
>> for instance github?
> The SCM part of the ports process is not the bottleneck.
>> Could ports take PRs in the form of pull requests on github?
>> Wouldn't that just turn the number of updates into a few minor clicks?
> This makes a fatal and untrue assumption: That was is submitted just
> needs to be committed.  In my brief experience, I can tell you that's
> simply not true.  If a submission can be taken without a single change,
> that is truly an exception.  It's not even the submitters fault often,
> sometimes the infrastructure changes but the submitter didn't know or
> account for it, or the PR came before the infrastructure change.
> One can RARELY take a submission as-is.  Thus, pull requests turn into
> merge conflict exercises and cause more work, not less IMO.
Your opinion is completely incorrect.  It is trivial for someone to take 
a pull request and resolve the differences and it is MUCH easier (orders 
of magnitude) to collab using git/github than it is to mail around 
patches over and over.  I really believe you don't understand how 
git/github works.

>> (also wouldn't it make it easier for ports submitters)?
> personally I don't really think so, plus I don't see the current or
> future PR system as the barrier for port submitters.
>> (maybe there is some great ports system that I'm not aware of that makes
>> this all as easy github, but I somehow doubt that.)
> I would like to see something where the submission gets tested in
> Redports automatically, and automatically annotates if the port passes
> on all platforms or not.  Then the submitter gets notice it needs fixing
> immediately and FreeBSD folks don't have to take the PR, test it, reject
> it, and state why.  That iteration can take a few cycles and automated
> testing could cut that process time tremendously.
That would be interesting.  If you could get it to work with github 
you'd find a lot more people active and willing to participate.

Basically, if my workflow was:

  git pull request -> creates redport submission -> then
      1) submission compiles and works -> promotes to "qualified" pull 
request -> either auto merged or given to maintainer to merge in 1 click.
      2) submission fails, then either I fix and resubmit the pull 
request, or I collab with the submitter to get it to work and then 
resubmit GOTO start.

That would be pretty awesome.  *A* problem (notice: not "the problem") 
is that the cycle is too slow and cumbersome.  Hook this into a DVCS 
that works well and suddenly you'll see productivity take off as well as 
people willing and wanting to submit patches.

In fact it will free up time from the people that qualify the code in 
order to quality and approve more code.

That said, you'll have to be up for learning new tools, and that doesn't 
leave me very optimistic of this ever happening.


> John

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