Re: [discuss] So what does Gerrit actually get us, anyway?

Will Stevens <williamstevens@...>
 

Good points Paul.  One of the projects which I am a part of, who use Github as their source of truth, basically have a git service run by the foundation which is setup to be a mirror of all activity that happens on Github.  I agree that this is important as we need the git repos to be at least mirrored to another, foundation owned, location in order to not lose the code in the event that Github decides to close down their service or change their terms to a point of being unusable (which I think is highly unlikely).

The reality for me is that we are trying to attract a wider community of contributors and Github is the defacto standard for most developers working in open source today (gross generalization).  I personally feel that Gerrit is a hindrance in attracting new developers/contributors (who are not coming from OpenStack).

Will




On Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 2:54 PM Paul Carver <pc2929@...> wrote:

Gerrit is certainly an acquired taste. It is more easily acquired by people with a background in OpenStack development (which I believe the original Contrail development team had) although I don’t know if that has shifted. There are pros and cons to the GitHub UI and workflow, but I would say the biggest point against GitHub is philosophical, not technical. GitHub (as distinct from Git) is a closed source software-as-a-service whereas Gerrit is an Open Source piece of software. The LF installs Gerrit on servers that belong to LF (or to be very precise, I believe it’s on VMs that LF obtains from VexxHost as infrastructure-as-a-service).

 

Fundamentally it’s the difference between editing your documents on OpenOffice installed on your own laptop or editing them on Office365 via your web browser to Microsoft’s cloud hosted version. With Gerrit/OpenOffice you have both your document and the tool used to create/modify your document. With GitHub/Office365 (web browser version) you can save a local copy of your document, but the original is hosted on Microsoft’s infrastructure and you can only work on it via Microsoft’s infrastructure. (And note that since Microsoft bought GitHub this is literally true, not just an analogy.)

 

The Git repos may be cloned from GitHub, but all the rest, pull requests, comments, issues, permissions are part of the web UI and backend database, not part of the Git repos. You can’t backup/restore/move to new hosting provider, you can only use on Microsoft’s software-as-a-service or abandon entirely.

 

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Paul Carver

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From: dev@... <dev@...> On Behalf Of Jan Gutter
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2019 13:09
To: dev@...
Cc: discuss@...
Subject: Re: [TF Dev] [discuss] So what does Gerrit actually get us, anyway?

 

From: <discuss@...> on behalf of "VM (Vicky) Brasseur via Lists.Tungsten.Io" <vmb=juniper.net@...>
Date: Monday, June 10, 2019 at 12:32 PM

Could someone please explain why it's needed and, if it turns out it's not really needed, could we please just not subject our community to the misery of having to use Gerrit?

 

Please note, the following is a subjective biased view, responding to a subjectively phrased question. It's not intended to be an objective comparison and will conflate a number of concepts together.

 

I've dealt a lot with the OpenStack development workflow [1], and very little with Github's workflow. In the OpenStack workflow, Gerrit is primarily used for review, by humans and by CI. In some respects, it's also used for planning (when specs are used), and it's an excellent tool for doing collaborative review on documentation, with good traceability. In contrast, it's hard to find any collaborative review on review.opencontrail.org, by human or by CI, with virtually no comments by humans and frequent 'rechecks' being thrown at the CI to try to get it to pass.

 

Giving up Gerrit will likely drive TF towards a more monolithic design. Committing to Gerrit properly can help modularise TF into separate, upgradeable components. Personally, I don't find Gerrit a misery when the community is extremely helpful and forthcoming.

 

I think I might have set the tone a little too aggressive for this message. If it were me, I'd look at the workflows that developers of adjacent and competing projects are using and try to fit in closer with them.

 

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Jan Gutter
Principal Software Engineer

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