[llvm-dev] Enable Contributions Through Pull-request For LLVM

Robinson, Paul via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Nov 12 09:52:50 PST 2019

In general I mildly favor moving to GitHub PRs, mainly because it is
a de-facto standard in the industry and many people are already
familiar with it.  LLVM's idiosyncratic and essentially undocumented
tool is not, whatever minor advantages it might have in certain
technical respects.

David Tellenbach wrote:

> One thing I always liked at the Phabricator workflow is that it is
> based on diffs only.

And other people on the thread find this an annoyance.

Being unable to chain related reviews is about the only case where
GitHub would appear to be at a significant disadvantage, and offhand
it would not seem like an insurmountable technical obstacle if we can
persuade the GitHub folks that it's actually pretty useful.

Alex Brachet-Mialot wrote:

> Just because more people might be familiar with GitHub, doesn't mean
> it is superior.

"The perfect is the enemy of the good."  Automobile controls are 
largely standardized; you might design a superior set of controls, 
but the simple fact of being different from all the others would be 
a barrier to adoption.  Even if GitHub's workflow is flawed, it is 
what new contributors will be used to, and new contributors are the
lifeblood of the project. And as a major project hosted on GitHub, 
it is not impossible that we could influence GitHub to smooth it out 
to better suit our use-cases.

Or, check out Hal Finkel's suggestion, which would allow casual
contributors to at least start out with their accustomed workflow
and then be funneled into LLVM's idiosyncratic review tool, which 
is fundamentally user-hostile but our community has gotten used to.

> I think many people agree that Phabricator is really good,

And many people agree that Phabricator is a major pain.  It has
zero useful documentation (other than what the LLVM project has
written for its own use) and IME makes every effort to make useful
features difficult to find and use.  Ingenious people still manage
to find and use them, but Phab absolutely does not make it easy.

> Getting reviewers [on GitHub] is a much bigger barrier

This would depend on how new reviews are advertised.  With Phab, we
understand how they are advertised (i.e., mailing list).  With GitHub
this is apparently not automatic, but still automatable, IIUC.

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