[llvm-dev] RFC: Code Review Process

Tanya Lattner via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Oct 5 12:51:53 PDT 2021

Hello! The purpose of this email is to start a discussion about our code review tools. No decisions have been made about changing tools. The idea behind a timeline is so that information could be gathered in a timely manner. The Infrastructure Working Group was formed to bring together community members who have an experience and/or passion regarding infrastructure. Anyone can participate in this working group and like the LLVM Foundation, the minutes are all made public. 

The LLVM Foundation’s mission is to support the LLVM project and help ensure the health and productivity of of the community and this is done through numerous ways including infrastructure. I do not think it is a negative thing that the foundation board of directors would be discussing our current tools and gathering information how how well they work and how we can make them better. As the legal entity who bares financial and legal responsibility for a lot of the infrastructure, this would make sense. This also makes sense because of the people involved who care a lot about LLVM and the project. But, the LLVM Foundation does not pay for Phabricator and we are very grateful for Google’s support of this critical piece of our infrastructure. 

Regarding Phabricator, there are a couple of pieces of information that were provided to the LLVM Foundation by maintainers (maybe previous it sounds like) of this instance and how we may need to look into alternative ways to support it.  In addition, Phacility itself has publicly stated that it is winding down operations. (https://admin.phacility.com/phame/post/view/11/phacility_is_winding_down_operations/). Lastly, there are questions about why we are not using GitHub pull requests as we are on GitHub and that might be the natural path to take for a number of reasons.

The above reasons are why the RFC was written. Perhaps it wasn’t written in the best way, but I also feel like it is being read in a negative way which is incredibly disappointing given I don’t feel there is a valid reason for this.


> On Oct 5, 2021, at 11:35 AM, Renato Golin via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 5 Oct 2021 at 19:16, Tom Stellard <tstellar at redhat.com <mailto:tstellar at redhat.com>> wrote:
> However, it's not a good position for the Board to be responsible
> for something that it doesn't have control over.  If Google decided to stop hosting
> Phabricator for some reason (unlikely, but not impossible), the Board would be
> responsible for finding a replacement.
> Sorry, this is a very weak reason for such a strong worded "RFC".
> I _cannot_ imagine "Google" stopping to support something so quickly as to leave the foundation without recourse. And even if they did, *no one* would blame the foundation for that.
> Even if you ignore all the effort that hundreds of their engineers have done over the past decade to the project, this would hurt Google more than anyone else. It's a far fetched concern.
> And if the foundation wants "control" of a piece of infrastructure that Google has been maintaining for years, then this is a different discussion. Hopefully one that doesn't involve unilateral decisions.
> The main risk is that Phabricator is no longer maintained upstream.
> There was already an issue[1] recently where the arc tool stopped working and won't
> be fixed upstream. Using unmaintained software is a bigger risk.
> I don't like using unmaintained software either, but I think our Phab has had more attention than the upstream project. And no one has to use arc, I certainly never have.
> Don't get me wrong, I don't like Phab and I think Github would bring new people to the project, but it's gotta be done the right way, and pushing it isn't it.
> We, meaning the LLVM Board of Directors.  And really the problem isn't the self-hosting
> so much as it's the lack of an enforceable maintenance agreement the Foundation and the
> maintainers.
> The problem isn't self-hosting at all, given that Google is doing that.  (apologies, I assumed otherwise earlier).
> Neither is maintenance, given Google is doing that too.
> The only thing that's left is control, and I don't really understand why this is important, as I explained above.
> cheers,
> --renato
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