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Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers?

 

 

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niklas.laxstrom at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 6:17 AM

Post #1 of 21 (3541 views)
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Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers?

Have you wondered how GiGeGat [1] works for volunteer developers if
even paid developers have difficulties with it? We have already seen
cases where it works, but we don't know much about the cases where
volunteers decide to give up.

Here, however, is one example [2] of the latter which I want to
highlight. The developer finds it too slow and complicated and wants
to move to GitHub and as consequence we cannot provide translation
services for his extensions at translatewiki.net.

Anyone willing to dig deeper what problems there are and try to resolve them?
-Niklas

[1] My favorite abbreviation for Git, Gerrit and Gated trunk
[2] http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Thread:Support/Add_MediaWiki_Extensions_from_github_to_translation

--
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benapetr at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 6:42 AM

Post #2 of 21 (3435 views)
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Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

Yes, it is difficult

It's hard to request new repository and have it created within short
period of time.

It's hard to navigate in gerrit

It's hard to checkout mediawiki repository, because it's huge

It's hard to find out how to commit / push (there is no guide how to
setup git so that it works as it is on github, unless you are git
expert you may find it hard, because you mostly need to fix your git
config files in order to be able to git push)

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM, Niklas Laxstr鰉
<niklas.laxstrom [at] gmail> wrote:
> Have you wondered how GiGeGat [1] works for volunteer developers if
> even paid developers have difficulties with it? We have already seen
> cases where it works, but we don't know much about the cases where
> volunteers decide to give up.
>
> Here, however, is one example [2] of the latter which I want to
> highlight. The developer finds it too slow and complicated and wants
> to move to GitHub and as consequence we cannot provide translation
> services for his extensions at translatewiki.net.
>
> Anyone willing to dig deeper what problems there are and try to resolve them?
> -Niklas
>
> [1] My favorite abbreviation for Git, Gerrit and Gated trunk
> [2] http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Thread:Support/Add_MediaWiki_Extensions_from_github_to_translation
>
> --
> Niklas Laxstr鰉
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> Wikitech-l [at] lists
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

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Platonides at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 6:50 AM

Post #3 of 21 (3419 views)
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Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

See https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/16258

I guess it was just frustration:
> I'm fight with this gerrit shit since hours, first SSH didn't work and then
> pushing did not work because the Committer was named another way. This is
> all way to complicated for me. An now this repository is totaly out of
> sync with what I commited to github.

I pointed that to Chad, hoping he could help him into making push work
for him, but given the TWN thread it didn't seem to have been a happy
outcome :(


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lewiscawte at googlemail

Jul 29, 2012, 7:39 AM

Post #4 of 21 (3465 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On 29/07/2012 14:42, Petr Bena wrote:
> Yes, it is difficult
>
> It's hard to request new repository and have it created within short
> period of time.
Need more Chad's :L
> It's hard to navigate in gerrit
When is this not being discussed/debated on/argued over...
> It's hard to checkout mediawiki repository, because it's huge
It took a while to checkout the SVN as well in my experience...
especially if you checked out from trunk/phase3 or the whole of trunk...
> It's hard to find out how to commit / push (there is no guide how to
> setup git so that it works as it is on github, unless you are git
> expert you may find it hard, because you mostly need to fix your git
> config files in order to be able to git push)
The guide used at the Berlin Hackathon this year was pretty good, and
I managed to work it out, with the exception of jumping the gun a bit
and using the wrong repo (key point: check what your doing) but other
than that, I've managed to use Git everytime I've wanted to now. The
guide for anyone that hasn't seen it,
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Git/Tutorial . As far as I remember, I've
had no problems using that and setting up my git stuff a few times on
Linux and once with TortoiseGit although I haven't tried pushing from
that yet - although pull and clone seemed to work well.

I'd say I kind of agree with the other points, but I'd also sort of
disagree. Being someone that doesn't commit/push a lot of code, the
things I have done (which, are relatively simple) we're easy for me to do...

-- Lewis Cawte
>
> On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM, Niklas Laxstr鰉
> <niklas.laxstrom [at] gmail> wrote:
>> Have you wondered how GiGeGat [1] works for volunteer developers if
>> even paid developers have difficulties with it? We have already seen
>> cases where it works, but we don't know much about the cases where
>> volunteers decide to give up.
>>
>> Here, however, is one example [2] of the latter which I want to
>> highlight. The developer finds it too slow and complicated and wants
>> to move to GitHub and as consequence we cannot provide translation
>> services for his extensions at translatewiki.net.
>>
>> Anyone willing to dig deeper what problems there are and try to resolve them?
>> -Niklas
>>
>> [1] My favorite abbreviation for Git, Gerrit and Gated trunk
>> [2] http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Thread:Support/Add_MediaWiki_Extensions_from_github_to_translation
>>
>> --
>> Niklas Laxstr鰉
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikitech-l mailing list
>> Wikitech-l [at] lists
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> Wikitech-l [at] lists
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l


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dgerard at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 7:45 AM

Post #5 of 21 (3416 views)
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Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On 29 July 2012 15:39, Lewis Cawte <lewiscawte [at] googlemail> wrote:

> I'd say I kind of agree with the other points, but I'd also sort of
> disagree. Being someone that doesn't commit/push a lot of code, the things I
> have done (which, are relatively simple) we're easy for me to do...


What are the statistics for volunteer contribution before and after Gerrit?

Has anyone kept track of such numbers?

I understood making volunteer contribution easier was one of the
attractions of Gerrit ...


- d.

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innocentkiller at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 7:46 AM

Post #6 of 21 (3420 views)
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Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM, Lewis Cawte <lewiscawte [at] googlemail> wrote:
>> It's hard to request new repository and have it created within short
>> period of time.
>
> Need more Chad's :L
>

No, we need a real process for this that scales. I was going to start
some work on this with a new extension called GerritTools that had
a "request queue" to automate much of this--but I got sidetracked
from it. If someone's looking for a project... ;-)

-Chad

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amir.aharoni at mail

Jul 29, 2012, 7:56 AM

Post #7 of 21 (3463 views)
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Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

2012/7/29 Petr Bena <benapetr [at] gmail>:
> Yes, it is difficult
>
> It's hard to request new repository and have it created within short
> period of time.
>
> It's hard to navigate in gerrit
>
> It's hard to checkout mediawiki repository, because it's huge
>
> It's hard to find out how to commit / push (there is no guide how to
> setup git so that it works as it is on github, unless you are git
> expert you may find it hard, because you mostly need to fix your git
> config files in order to be able to git push)

I am really not a fan of Gerrit, but this is an exaggeration.

What is true, however, is that the documentation is still not great.
There is [[Git/Workflow]], which is 30 pages long. [[Git/Tutorial]]
was supposed to make it simpler, but it grew to be 36 pages long.

Based on the idea that describing hard things on one page with useful
links can make these things easier, I just attempted to write this:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Git/TLDR

Hopefully some people will find it useful. Feel free to edit it, but
don't let it grow longer than one (printed) page.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni 路 讗指诪执讬专 讗直诇执讬砖讈指注 讗址讛植专讜止谞执讬
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
鈥淲e're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.鈥 鈥 T. Moore鈥

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lewiscawte at googlemail

Jul 29, 2012, 8:01 AM

Post #8 of 21 (3468 views)
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Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On 29/07/2012 15:45, David Gerard wrote:
> On 29 July 2012 15:39, Lewis Cawte <lewiscawte [at] googlemail> wrote:
>
>> I'd say I kind of agree with the other points, but I'd also sort of
>> disagree. Being someone that doesn't commit/push a lot of code, the things I
>> have done (which, are relatively simple) we're easy for me to do...
>
> What are the statistics for volunteer contribution before and after Gerrit?
>
> Has anyone kept track of such numbers?
I believe, although I may not be correct, Sumana requested these a while
back and has been looking at them... I'm not sure if it covers (new)
volunteer contributors or not. I think one thing that if it isn't a
positive statistic is that from my point of view is that the volunteer
contributors that we're out there in the SVN days and the ones that
actually committed regularly have not yet learnt or are not as willing
to relearn how to contribute... I know from some small experiences a few
that are unhappy or unwilling that they have to relearn things.
> I understood making volunteer contribution easier was one of the
> attractions of Gerrit ...
That, or Git, or the whole new workflow I assume, but who perhaps does
this make it easier for? I suppose its easier especially for the people
on the WMF side, since there is no more "submit patches and have them
reviewed before you get commit" and its more get commit access, and then
have your patches reviewed without them potentially breaking things.

-- Lewis Cawte

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Platonides at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 9:35 AM

Post #9 of 21 (3459 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On 29/07/12 17:01, Lewis Cawte wrote:
>> I understood making volunteer contribution easier was one of the
>> attractions of Gerrit ...
> That, or Git, or the whole new workflow I assume, but who perhaps does
> this make it easier for? I suppose its easier especially for the people
> on the WMF side, since there is no more "submit patches and have them
> reviewed before you get commit" and its more get commit access, and then
> have your patches reviewed without them potentially breaking things.
>
> -- Lewis Cawte

AFAIK getting a svn account was never a problem for WMF employees, they
didn't need to submit patches first.



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dgerard at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 9:42 AM

Post #10 of 21 (3414 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On 29 July 2012 16:01, Lewis Cawte <lewiscawte [at] googlemail> wrote:
> On 29/07/2012 15:45, David Gerard wrote:

>> What are the statistics for volunteer contribution before and after
>> Gerrit?
>> Has anyone kept track of such numbers?

> I believe, although I may not be correct, Sumana requested these a while
> back and has been looking at them... I'm not sure if it covers (new)
> volunteer contributors or not. I think one thing that if it isn't a positive
> statistic is that from my point of view is that the volunteer contributors
> that we're out there in the SVN days and the ones that actually committed
> regularly have not yet learnt or are not as willing to relearn how to
> contribute... I know from some small experiences a few that are unhappy or
> unwilling that they have to relearn things.


I was just asking for numbers. Your response looks very like making an
excuse for bad numbers *before we have the numbers*.

I submit that if we know we have to prepare excuses for bad numbers
before we even have the numbers, the current process may not have been
a good idea.


- d.

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innocentkiller at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 9:56 AM

Post #11 of 21 (3464 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 12:42 PM, David Gerard <dgerard [at] gmail> wrote:
> On 29 July 2012 16:01, Lewis Cawte <lewiscawte [at] googlemail> wrote:
>> On 29/07/2012 15:45, David Gerard wrote:
>
>>> What are the statistics for volunteer contribution before and after
>>> Gerrit?
>>> Has anyone kept track of such numbers?
>
>> I believe, although I may not be correct, Sumana requested these a while
>> back and has been looking at them... I'm not sure if it covers (new)
>> volunteer contributors or not. I think one thing that if it isn't a positive
>> statistic is that from my point of view is that the volunteer contributors
>> that we're out there in the SVN days and the ones that actually committed
>> regularly have not yet learnt or are not as willing to relearn how to
>> contribute... I know from some small experiences a few that are unhappy or
>> unwilling that they have to relearn things.
>
>
> I was just asking for numbers. Your response looks very like making an
> excuse for bad numbers *before we have the numbers*.
>
> I submit that if we know we have to prepare excuses for bad numbers
> before we even have the numbers, the current process may not have been
> a good idea.
>

I believe some numbers have made it into the Signpost around when the
monthly reports come out.

Paraphrasing from memory, the basic trend has been:
* Overall number of monthly commits is down (this is expected to some
degree due to lack of "followups")
* Number of contributors in labs/gerrit accounts has been increasing, and
hasn't seem to hit a plateau just yet (new accounts every month)

-Chad

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helder.wiki at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 10:15 AM

Post #12 of 21 (3424 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM, Lewis Cawte <lewiscawte [at] googlemail> wrote:
>> It's hard to find out how to commit / push (there is no guide how to
>> setup git so that it works as it is on github, unless you are git
>> expert you may find it hard, because you mostly need to fix your git
>> config files in order to be able to git push)
>
> The guide used at the Berlin Hackathon this year was pretty good, and I
> managed to work it out, with the exception of jumping the gun a bit and
> using the wrong repo (key point: check what your doing) but other than that,
> I've managed to use Git everytime I've wanted to now. The guide for anyone
> that hasn't seen it, https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Git/Tutorial .

+1. That tutorial helped me a lot in my first commits.

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rlane32 at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 12:30 PM

Post #13 of 21 (3399 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

> I was just asking for numbers. Your response looks very like making an
> excuse for bad numbers *before we have the numbers*.
>
> I submit that if we know we have to prepare excuses for bad numbers
> before we even have the numbers, the current process may not have been
> a good idea.
>

Since the operations repos have been opened, we've had over 800
changes pushed in from non-operations team members (this includes devs
that have root). That's roughly equivalent to the number of changes
one operations team staff members have pushed in during the same time
period.

So, ignoring numbers for all other repos (whether they are good or bad
- I have no clue for those), the switch to git/gerrit has had a major
impact for the operations team.

- Ryan

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rlane32 at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 12:32 PM

Post #14 of 21 (3406 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

> Since the operations repos have been opened, we've had over 800
> changes pushed in from non-operations team members (this includes devs
> that have root). That's roughly equivalent to the number of changes
> one operations team staff members have pushed in during the same time
> period.
>

As a clarification, the numbers treat devs with root as being on the
operations team.

- Ryan

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mail at tgries

Jul 29, 2012, 12:54 PM

Post #15 of 21 (3404 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

Yes it _is_ difficult for volunteer developers.
I still find it very difficult and did not commit any new line of code
to gerrit except a "coached fix" during Berlin Hackathon 2012.
And use github for my daily work now.

Tom


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rlane32 at gmail

Jul 29, 2012, 12:56 PM

Post #16 of 21 (3401 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM, Thomas Gries <mail [at] tgries> wrote:
> Yes it _is_ difficult for volunteer developers.
> I still find it very difficult and did not commit any new line of code
> to gerrit except a "coached fix" during Berlin Hackathon 2012.
> And use github for my daily work now.
>

Can you please detail what you found difficult in the process, so that
we can try to make things easier?

- Ryan

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marktraceur at riseup

Jul 29, 2012, 12:57 PM

Post #17 of 21 (3428 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

> I believe, although I may not be correct, Sumana requested these a while
> back and has been looking at them... I'm not sure if it covers (new)
> volunteer contributors or not.

I had provided some numbers, though I'm not sure how helpful they
are/have been/will be:

http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2012-July/061649.html

Also relevant, the reports for which Sumana had requested help:

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2012/May
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2012/June
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2012/July
(this month, draft)

My message to the list also included a script that could be easily
hacked up to look at just about any possible permutation of gerrit
searches. I mean really, it's pretty hackish as-is.

As a follow-up, I had made a Python script to do something similar on
the GitHub side, but it wasn't as successful or useful in my opinion,
since there were only a few additional contributors:
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2012-July/061653.html

I hope this can be helpful in some way, at least for substantiating the
statements elsewhere that we're still growing :)

Cheers,

--
Mark Holmquist
Contractor, Wikimedia Foundation
mtraceur [at] member
http://marktraceur.info



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mail at tgries

Jul 29, 2012, 1:06 PM

Post #18 of 21 (3450 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

Am 29.07.2012 21:56, schrieb Ryan Lane:
> On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM, Thomas Gries <mail [at] tgries> wrote:
>> Yes it _is_ difficult for volunteer developers.
>> I still find it very difficult and did not commit any new line of code
>> to gerrit except a "coached fix" during Berlin Hackathon 2012.
>> And use github for my daily work now.
>>
> Can you please detail what you found difficult in the process, so that
> we can try to make things easier?

The previous committers to this thread already said it all.

Basically, I miss exspecially these functions which I often used in the
CodeReview

- list a code-(module) related contributions of committers
- immediate and direct view of accumulated differences (this was so nice)
- show differences in a module between this day and that day (for
bisection of a certain bug)
I mean this: just as an example
https://svn.wikimedia.org/viewvc/mediawiki/trunk/extensions/OpenID/OpenID.php?r1=111329&r2=115069

Revision 115069 - (view) (download) (annotate) - [select for diffs]
Modified Thu Apr 26 23:50:06 2012 UTC (3 months ago) by wikinaut
File length: 10965 byte(s)
Diff to previous 113562 , to selected 111329
- clean interface not to bother with links (in gerrit) I do not
understand and I do not have to use.

Summary:
I as a now-and-then contributor need a

"gerrit-light"

with a interface very much the same as "CodeReview".
This is why I proposed already in another mail to write a wrapper, a
gateway or however you want to call it which wraps gerrit,
and let me use gerrit as I was used to do with CodeReview.


Expert will switch away fro "gerrit-light" to "gerrit-expertview" of course.
Tom
now also on #mediawiki
>
> - Ryan
>
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hashar+wmf at free

Jul 29, 2012, 2:30 PM

Post #19 of 21 (3386 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

Le 29/07/12 15:17, Niklas Laxstr枚m a 茅crit :
> The developer finds it too slow and complicated and wants
> to move to GitHub and as consequence we cannot provide translation
> services for his extensions at translatewiki.net.

I fail to see the relation there. Can't you sync with the GitHub git repo?

--
Antoine "hashar" Musso


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sumanah at wikimedia

Aug 20, 2012, 9:15 AM

Post #20 of 21 (3246 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On 07/29/2012 09:17 AM, Niklas Laxstr枚m wrote:
> Have you wondered how GiGeGat [1] works for volunteer developers if
> even paid developers have difficulties with it? We have already seen
> cases where it works, but we don't know much about the cases where
> volunteers decide to give up.
>
> Here, however, is one example [2] of the latter which I want to
> highlight. The developer finds it too slow and complicated and wants
> to move to GitHub and as consequence we cannot provide translation
> services for his extensions at translatewiki.net.
>
> Anyone willing to dig deeper what problems there are and try to resolve them?
> -Niklas
>
> [1] My favorite abbreviation for Git, Gerrit and Gated trunk
> [2] http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Thread:Support/Add_MediaWiki_Extensions_from_github_to_translation

Thanks for the heads-up, Niklas. I think other people in the thread
have provided the current stats around commits and number of committers,
but to return to the original point: it looks like the TWN thread there
has stopped without a resolution. Niklas, is there any outcome, or is
the developer still awaiting a solution?

--
Sumana Harihareswara
Engineering Community Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

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daniel at nadir-seen-fire

Aug 20, 2012, 10:17 AM

Post #21 of 21 (3239 views)
Permalink
Re: Is the current system too difficult for volunteer developers? [In reply to]

On Mon, 20 Aug 2012 09:15:00 -0700, Sumana Harihareswara
<sumanah [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> On 07/29/2012 09:17 AM, Niklas Laxstr枚m wrote:
>> Have you wondered how GiGeGat [1] works for volunteer developers if
>> even paid developers have difficulties with it? We have already seen
>> cases where it works, but we don't know much about the cases where
>> volunteers decide to give up.
>>
>> Here, however, is one example [2] of the latter which I want to
>> highlight. The developer finds it too slow and complicated and wants
>> to move to GitHub and as consequence we cannot provide translation
>> services for his extensions at translatewiki.net.
>>
>> Anyone willing to dig deeper what problems there are and try to resolve
>> them?
>> -Niklas
>>
>> [1] My favorite abbreviation for Git, Gerrit and Gated trunk
>> [2]
>> http://translatewiki.net/wiki/Thread:Support/Add_MediaWiki_Extensions_from_github_to_translation
>
> Thanks for the heads-up, Niklas. I think other people in the thread
> have provided the current stats around commits and number of committers,
> but to return to the original point: it looks like the TWN thread there
> has stopped without a resolution. Niklas, is there any outcome, or is
> the developer still awaiting a solution?

It also looks like it didn't even go on for long.

I'd like to know what kind of issues he had, rather than just the fact
that he had issues, and we know there are issues which may or may not be
the ones he had trouble with.

He's using GitHub so it looks like he's fine with the Git part.
Is it Gerrit he had trouble with or the fundamental idea of Gated repos
where he waits for review?
Or is his issue more with the current trouble trying to create new repos
and get into development?
If he has Gated repo issues, would Gerrit's direct push permission work?
If Gerrit is really the issue and he doesn't actually have an issue with
the idea of a Gated repo, then would another gated workflow work? eg:
Would Phabricator's work? Or would mine work?

--
~Daniel Friesen (Dantman, Nadir-Seen-Fire) [http://daniel.friesen.name]

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