On 08/09/2016 12:36 AM, Junio C Hamano wrote:
> Michael Haggerty <mhag...@alum.mit.edu> writes:
>> Is it *really* so insane to consider moving collaboration on the Git
>> project to GitHub or some other similar platform?
> I only know how "pull requests" and "issues" discussion in GitHub
> Web interface _currently_ looks like, so if you have even more
> wonderful thing in the works, I _might_ be swayed otherwise,

If I did I couldn't say anyway, so let's assume that current GitHub is
what's on the table [1].

There are a couple of recent code-review improvements that you might
have missed:

* You can now get email updates about your own activity [2]. (Previously
you would only get emails about the activity of other people, which
would leave holes in the email record of the conversation.)

* There is also now better visibility of code review comments regarding
lines that are no longer part of a PR [3].

> but I
> do not think it is sane to expect that the same quality and quantity
> of reviews as we do here can be maintained with that thing.

Could you elaborate why you would expect quality and/or quantity of
reviews to suffer? I'm really curious, and I'd be happy to pass your
feedback along to my colleagues.

Here are some factors that I think will *improve* reviews:

* While you are reviewing patches, you can "zoom out" to see code beyond
the usual diff context. Currently a reviewer who wants more context has
to transition from reading the diff in email to applying the patch and
viewing it in another tool. Then the reviewer has to go back to email to
leave the comment.

* If you want to compile/run/edit/profile the code, you just need to
"git fetch" rather than messing around with "git am". For more involved
suggestions, it is possible to propose a PR against the original PR.

* It is easy to summon somebody else into the review conversation by
@-mentioning them. That person immediately can see the whole history of
the PR. (This is an improvement on the status quo, where a new entrant
to a conversation might have to dig through the email trash or an email
archive to see emails that they overlooked before they were added to the
CC list.)

* It is easy to subscribe/unsubscribe from particular discussions [4].
This makes it easier to follow the discussions you are interested in
without getting swamped with emails about other discussions. You can
unsubscribe from a discussion permanently, or in such a way that a new
@-mention brings you back in.

* It is easy to mention other PRs/commits/issues in a discussion, and
those mentions become clickable links (no jumping back and forth between
email client and web browser). Of course you can also link to arbitrary
URLs (e.g., mailing list archives).

* It is possible to search old issues and PRs for additional context.
(Granted, the history of the project from its ML era would have to be
searched separately.)

Given that I work for GitHub, I'm uncomfortable doing any more advocacy
here. If people have concrete questions, I'd be happy to answer them, on
the list or in private.


[1] In general, GitHub *does* get better over time, and we would benefit
from any future improvements.
[2] https://github.com/blog/2203-email-updates-about-your-own-activity
[3] https://github.com/blog/2123-more-code-review-tools
[4] https://github.com/blog/2183-improvements-to-notification-emails

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