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Re: Gitlab Evaluation & Migration

On 2/25/19 4:31 AM, Martin Flöser wrote:
Changing the tooling will not solve any of the contribution problems.

I'm aware of several projects who would like to incubate with KDE.org (e.g. Kaidan and Spectral, both new-breed Kirigami apps with new contributor ecosystems) but are waiting for the outcome of this decision, because they believe being part of KDE wouldn't be worth the cost of losing access to contributors that Phabricator imposes to them.

It's difficult to get hard data on this, of course. From Gnome I've been told their contributon numbers from new contributors have seen a massive uptick since adopting GitLab, however their infra pre-GitLab was (to me) worse than Phabricator.

It's unclear to me what exactly would happen for us. However, it seems clear to me that the world outside of the existing cadre of KDE contribtors has a consensus on this: When the news about the GitLab eval leaked to Reddit and other venues, "finally I'll be able to submit my patch" was a recurring theme.

One thing that strikes me is that KDE upstream relations have usually been a defining trait of our tooling decisions. We've adopted things like gitolite, CMake and even Qt based on having an upstream to talk to. This is currently not the case with Phabricator, but it is the case with GitLab. I'm hesistant of saying it's awesome just yet (there's some features in the GitLab Enterprise Edition we would like GitLab to move to the Community Edition for us, and it's not been decided there yet), but they've done regular calls with us, opened a master ticket to track our account with them, and have multiple times expressed an interest in attending KDE's upcoming Onboarding sprint. This is very nice.

It's also worth noting that we're the only big FOSS player using Phabricator at the moment. To contribute to KDE, people have to learn Phabricator. If they've already contributed to freedesktop, Gnome, or hundreds of other projects, they've already learned GitLab.

My personal take is this: I'm used to Phabricator and fine with it. It doesn't impede my work. But I think it would be a mistake to make this decision based on what I'm fine with, because I'm equally able to adjust to GitLab and be fine with that. I'd rather make this decision based on what people who aren't KDE contributors yet find attractive, and that seems overwhelmingly in GitLab's favor from everything I've read and heard. New contributors showing up would affect me a lot more than having to adjust to typing a different command does.

I also have reason to believe this delta between "I'm fine with it" and "Others want X" is only going to increase based on the relative development speeds of Phabricator and GitLab. The latter seems more likely to keep up with the state of the art currently. I'd like KDE to be on board with the state of the art.