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Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit)

 

 

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erik at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 6:06 PM

Post #1 of 10 (1505 views)
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Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit)

On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> As one quick update, we're also in touch with Evan Priestley, who's no
> longer at Facebook and now running Phabricator as a dedicated open
> source project and potential business. If all goes well, Evan's going
> to come visit WMF sometime soon, which will be an opportunity to
> seriously explore whether Phabricator could be a viable long term
> alternative (it's probably not a near term one). Will post more
> details if this meeting materializes.

We had this conversation with Evan today. The following people
participated: David Schoonover, Brion Vibber, Rob Lanphier, Chad
Horohoe, Terry Chay, Ryan Lane, Ori Livneh, Roan Kattouw, and myself.
Evan gave us a walkthrough of Phabricator's current capabilities,
comparing it against the evaluation criteria on
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Git/Gerrit_evaluation .

Some thoughts below; if you participated, please feel free to jump in
with your thoughts/impressions from the conversation, and/or to
contradict anything I'm saying. :-)

As I understood it, the big gotchas for Phabricator adoption are that
Phabricator doesn't manage repositories - it knows how to poll a Git
repo, but it doesn't have per-repo access controls or even more than a
shallow awareness of what a repository is; it literally shells out to
git to perform its operations, e.g. poll for changes - and would still
need some work to efficiently deal with hundreds of repositories,
long-lived remote branches, and some of the other fun characteristics
of Wikimedia's repos. Full repo management is on the roadmap, without
an exact date, and Evan is very open to making tweaks and changes as
needed, especially if it serves a potential flagship user like
Wikimedia.

My impression was that a lot of Phabricator's features were
well-received, including the code review / inline commenting UI tself,
its much more flexible code commenting system, the simple notification
filters, etc.

Brion suggested in the conversation that a logical way to explore
Phabricator's potential value for us might be to start using it for
one of the more experimental repos. This would enable us to give
feedback to Evan about what's working / what's not working, and to
build a working relationship with the Phabricator community. If we
believe in the potential, and the dealbreaker features are indeed
forthcoming, we could then consider more seriously a move away from
Gerrit down the road. If we hate it, the "only" cost is the cost to
that team of setting up, maintaining and then ramping down some
experimental infrastructure. (This would _not_ be a project for Rob's
group to shoulder - you'd have to do so yourself.)

If so, based on this, I'm wondering if there are any champions who are
willing to do the legwork to 1) set up Phabricator for a current WMF
engineering project, 2) convince their team (and potentially the rest
of the world) to start using it? I suspect that good candidates would
be projects that currently live entirely on GitHub, where Phabricator
would be a step _towards_ self-hosted OSS infrastructure, as opposed
to spinning out something from Gerrit. But I'd be concerned about
doing this with more than one project initially, and only if the
entire team is convinced that it's the right thing to do, and is
willing to somewhat slow down its velocity to do so.

Obviously, any volunteer who wants to experiment with it for their
Wikimedia-related project would be welcome to do so in Labs, as well,
and I'd be happy to connect them w/ Evan if needed.

The alternative is to take another look at Phabricator only when it
more closely matches our must-have requirements.

--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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ori at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 7:02 PM

Post #2 of 10 (1382 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Monday, August 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM, Erik Moeller wrote:
> If so, based on this, I'm wondering if there are any champions who are
> willing to do the legwork to 1) set up Phabricator for a current WMF
> engineering project, 2) convince their team (and potentially the rest
> of the world) to start using it?

I'm down. S was nearly reduced to tears (-- super manly, non-embarassing Chuck Norris tears) by Gerrit the other day, so even though he's on vacation I'm pretty confident he'd be down to try it out too. (We are the only two committers to the E3Experiments repository.)

I'd like to set this up on a third-party host so we don't add to the list of machines ops has to worry about, and so we aren't affected by labs upgrades. The monetary cost would be trivial and I don't mind shouldering it myself.

--
Ori Livneh
ori [at] wikimedia



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ori at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 7:35 PM

Post #3 of 10 (1381 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

….and we're up: http://phab.256.io/

--
Ori Livneh
ori [at] wikimedia


On Monday, August 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Ori Livneh wrote:

> On Monday, August 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM, Erik Moeller wrote:
> > If so, based on this, I'm wondering if there are any champions who are
> > willing to do the legwork to 1) set up Phabricator for a current WMF
> > engineering project, 2) convince their team (and potentially the rest
> > of the world) to start using it?
>
>
>
> I'm down. S was nearly reduced to tears (-- super manly, non-embarassing Chuck Norris tears) by Gerrit the other day, so even though he's on vacation I'm pretty confident he'd be down to try it out too. (We are the only two committers to the E3Experiments repository.)
>
> I'd like to set this up on a third-party host so we don't add to the list of machines ops has to worry about, and so we aren't affected by labs upgrades. The monetary cost would be trivial and I don't mind shouldering it myself.
>
> --
> Ori Livneh
> ori [at] wikimedia (mailto:ori [at] wikimedia)




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jeremy at tuxmachine

Aug 6, 2012, 7:38 PM

Post #4 of 10 (1380 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM, Ori Livneh <ori [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> ….and we're up: http://phab.256.io/

Then how do people get accounts? another perfect case for OAuth (or
whatever we end up implementing instead)

(I don't see an obvious way for anons to create new accounts but maybe
I'm just missing it)

-Jeremy

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erik at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 7:39 PM

Post #5 of 10 (1382 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Ori Livneh <ori [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> (We are the only two committers to the E3Experiments repository.)

That's a good and a bad thing as it'll likely mean we're not going to
get a lot of insight into the code review benefits & drawbacks unless
we get a few more people excited to work on that particular extension.

A consequence of having an extension (as opposed to something
standalone like the mobile app or Limn) as the test case would be that
we'll have to figure out how to make it work well with the MW
deployment process - not sure how hard that would be in practice, but
again something you'd have to solve without leaning too much on
others.

> I'd like to set this up on a third-party host so we don't add to the list of machines ops has to worry about, and so we aren't affected by labs upgrades. The monetary cost would be trivial and I don't mind shouldering it myself.

I'm not terribly fond of that idea as it sounds like a truly
dead-ended approach; it'd be nice to have something that can
potentially grow in number of users / maintainers, and can be more
straightforwardly prepared for deployment on production servers. Labs
upgrades will happen, yes, but we have to grow discipline in
minimizing downtime by eating our own dogfood.

> ….and we're up: http://phab.256.io/

But I'll grant you that it's the fastest thing to do. :) I'd be in
favor of moving it to a Labs instance when possible.

--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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asharma at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 8:46 PM

Post #6 of 10 (1377 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Ori Livneh <ori [at] wikimedia> wrote:
>
>> (We are the only two committers to the E3Experiments repository.)
>
> That's a good and a bad thing as it'll likely mean we're not going to
> get a lot of insight into the code review benefits & drawbacks unless
> we get a few more people excited to work on that particular extension.
>
Yup.

> A consequence of having an extension (as opposed to something
> standalone like the mobile app or Limn) as the test case would be that
> we'll have to figure out how to make it work well with the MW
> deployment process - not sure how hard that would be in practice, but
> again something you'd have to solve without leaning too much on
> others.
>

>> I'd like to set this up on a third-party host so we don't add to the list of machines ops has to worry about, and so we aren't affected by labs upgrades. The monetary cost would be trivial and I don't mind shouldering it myself.
>

> I'm not terribly fond of that idea as it sounds like a truly
> dead-ended approach; it'd be nice to have something that can
> potentially grow in number of users / maintainers, and can be more
> straightforwardly prepared for deployment on production servers. Labs
> upgrades will happen, yes, but we have to grow discipline in
> minimizing downtime by eating our own dogfood.
>

Agree w Erik. Really doesn't prove much in terms of integration
towards deployment or collaboration for our community.

>> ….and we're up: http://phab.256.io/
>
> But I'll grant you that it's the fastest thing to do. :) I'd be in
> favor of moving it to a Labs instance when possible.
>
+1

-Alolita

> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> Wikitech-l [at] lists
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l



--

Alolita Sharma
Director of Engineering
Wikimedia Foundation

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lists at nadir-seen-fire

Aug 6, 2012, 9:14 PM

Post #7 of 10 (1378 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Mon, 06 Aug 2012 19:38:11 -0700, Jeremy Baron <jeremy [at] tuxmachine>
wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM, Ori Livneh <ori [at] wikimedia> wrote:
>> ….and we're up: http://phab.256.io/
>
> Then how do people get accounts? another perfect case for OAuth (or
> whatever we end up implementing instead)
>
> (I don't see an obvious way for anons to create new accounts but maybe
> I'm just missing it)
>
> -Jeremy

;) You just had to put review and auth -- the two projects I wish I had a
contract to finish one of -- in the same email...

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

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ori at wikimedia

Aug 6, 2012, 9:16 PM

Post #8 of 10 (1415 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Monday, August 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Erik Moeller wrote:

>
> But I'll grant you that it's the fastest thing to do. :) I'd be in
> favor of moving it to a Labs instance when possible.

Mark Traceur and I are working on a puppet manifest for labs


--
Ori Livneh
ori [at] wikimedia



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tchay at wikimedia

Aug 8, 2012, 10:26 AM

Post #9 of 10 (1385 views)
Permalink
Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Aug 6, 2012, at 7:39 PM, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Ori Livneh <ori [at] wikimedia> wrote:
>
>> (We are the only two committers to the E3Experiments repository.)
>
> That's a good and a bad thing as it'll likely mean we're not going to
> get a lot of insight into the code review benefits & drawbacks unless
> we get a few more people excited to work on that particular extension.
>
> A consequence of having an extension (as opposed to something
> standalone like the mobile app or Limn) as the test case would be that
> we'll have to figure out how to make it work well with the MW
> deployment process - not sure how hard that would be in practice, but
> again something you'd have to solve without leaning too much on
> others.

When I talked to Ori, the idea here was not to set up in E3Experiments in lieu of other setups, but in addition to them.

The reality of anything that gets deployed on cluster is that the repository would have to be managed in gerrit. This means that the targets (until a decision is made) are to use phabricator on:

1) do extension that is in deploy but then gate on merge into gerrit.
2) do experimental extensions that aren't in deploy
3) do a project that isn't in gerrit/deploy train.

Ori's falls into the first. I have a number of projects that might fit into that in Features, so I can ask around, but this is actually extra work (currently) for whoever acts as the gate. Ori seems willing to for E3Experiments :-)

As for (2), the only project that could do this would be Flow which has no code written. My guess is the decision would be made before we get to the point where we're developing Flow in earnest.

As for (3), I think mobile would be the best candidate and Brion would proceed with that.

The work Ori is doing can be used to host more than just E3Experiments. ;-)

>
>> ….and we're up: http://phab.256.io/
>
> But I'll grant you that it's the fastest thing to do. :) I'd be in
> favor of moving it to a Labs instance when possible.

And when they do, we could try oth
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tchay at wikimedia

Aug 9, 2012, 5:48 PM

Post #10 of 10 (1366 views)
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Re: Phabricator debrief (was: Serious alternatives to Gerrit) [In reply to]

On Aug 6, 2012, at 7:39 PM, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> A consequence of having an extension (as opposed to something
> standalone like the mobile app or Limn)

^^^^^^ Just for fun, the labs instance now tracks those repositories on GitHub

https://phabricator.wmflabs.org/diffusion/WLM/
and
https://phabricator.wmflabs.org/diffusion/LIMN/


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