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Transition from RT to GitHub [FAQ]

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Sawyer X
July 8, 2019 22:45
Transition from RT to GitHub [FAQ]
Message ID:
Hi everyone,

Following are a set of common questions and their answers regarding this
change. It probably will not address every question you have, but I hope
it provides more details on the expected move.

Q: What problems will this help with?

A: Several things:

* Lack of ability to file bugs via the web.

* Bug reports being delayed or lost.

* Access control issues to bugs.

* Things that break in weird ways and nobody notices for weeks (e.g.,
data integrity).

* Spam filtering.

Q: Do you still like RT (Request Tracker)

A: Yes. We still love it. The issues aren’t with RT itself but with the
complex integrations we’ve built around it.

Q: Can’t the current system be fixed/improved?

A: With sufficient time and resources anything can be fixed. But the
current system is built on code that’s 10-20 years old (some of it is
still in perl4-ish style!). The fact that it’s worked so well for so
long is amazing, but any fixes would just be band-aids and wouldn’t help
with longevity.

Q: Why not GitLab or some other application that could be self-hosted?

A: Our core competency and focus is Perl 5. A significant amount of
volunteer time has been spent by community members over the years
maintaining these systems. We would like to focus available energy on
the language, rather than on infrastructure maintenance. We investigated
several options, and came to the conclusion that GitHub was our best choice.

Q: Will I need a GitHub account?

A: Yes. Most active perl5-porters already have an account. Requiring an
account helps address a major problem over the years: spam.

The problem with anonymous ticket submission is that it inevitably
becomes a spam target. You can of course get rid of much of the bad
traffic with filtering. However you are still left with processes that
are fragile and/or overly dependent on humans.

Q: I won't sign up for a GitHub account.

A: We understand not everyone wishes to open a GitHub account.
Unfortunately, we still need to deal with the reality of not being able
to maintain the current system.

Read access to issues and the repo do not require an account, so
everything will be open to view by anonymous access.

Q: What if GitHub goes away?

A: We believe that GitHub is going to be around for a long time. It has
critical mass in the open source community, and is backed by Microsoft
which is not interested in seeing it fail. Its powerful API makes it
possible to keep a backup of all of our data, should we have to migrate.

Q: Will this change how we use Git?

A: There are no plans to do so. We’re just moving the “canonical” git

Q: What will people see when they visit links in old documentation,
commit messages, etc.? 

A: The old URLs will automatically redirect to GitHub issues. The top of
each migrated ticket will provide a link pointing to a read-only
archived copy from RT.

Q: What about closed issues and special tags in the cases? 

A: All issues (open and closed) will be moved to GitHub. Any special
tags (like operating system, Perl 5 version, etc.) will be made tags in

Q What will happen to tickets that continue to be reported by perlbug
via email?

A: Reviewing the rate of new reporters, we don't expect a significant
impact. The email address will auto-reply with instructions on how to
report the issue via GitHub. For an initial interim period, we will
monitor <>so issues are not lost.

Q: Can I continue reporting bugs using perlbug?

A: The current workflow using perlbug is fully supported at the moment.
We will communicate prior to any changes to this workflow.

Q: What will happen to perlbug in future versions of the language?

A: We propose transitioning it to a tool that collects report
information and then make it easy for people to then submit this report
to GitHub.

Q: What about security issues?

A: Reporting security issues should continue to be done by emailing <>.
GitHub has provided us with a private repository for tracking security
issues and we will be able to make these public once resolved, as we
currently do in RT.

Q: What about smoking?

A: Our current smoking setup is unaffected by this change.

Because it is easy to do, we will be leveraging https://travis-ci.orgto
smoke our branches and pull requests. It will also be possible to add
other existing smoking systems to this interface, enabling reporting of
all smoker runs to be integrated into the central GitHub interface.

Q: What about

A: It will be made a mirror of may be
retired at a future date based on usage.

Q: What about the metaconfig repository?

A: The metaconfig is not in scope for this change. Any such decision is
left to the current metaconfig maintainers.

Q: Will all ticket updates be sent to the list as before?

A: Only the initial ticket creation will show up on the list. This will
give you the ability to monitor only the issues you care about. You can
also monitor the whole project on GitHub to get all updates by simply
setting watch as you see fit in GitHub.

Updates will be received based on monitoring the person chooses or when
said person is explicitly mentioned. You may choose to monitor
everything (what we call the “firehose mode”), as currently on the p5p
mailing list.

Q: What about IRC notifications

A: The IRC bot can be switched to use a web hook and notify just like it
does now.

Q: How can I help with the issue migration to GitHub?

A: We can definitely use your help reviewing a test conversion for major
issues that need repair. We'll announce when the demo conversion is
ready in the next week.

Q: What else needs doing?

A: We need to know about any existing integration with RT or perl5's
existing git repo. If you know of something, please let us know so it
can be accommodated during the migration.

Thank you,


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