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Re: Transition from RT to GitHub [FAQ]

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From:
James E Keenan
Date:
July 8, 2019 23:13
Subject:
Re: Transition from RT to GitHub [FAQ]
Message ID:
20190708231207.10103.qmail@lists-nntp.develooper.com
On 7/8/19 6:45 PM, Sawyer X wrote:
> 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
> repository.
> 
> 
> 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
> GitHub.
> 
> 
> 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 perlbug@perl.org <mailto:perlbug@perl.org>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
> perl5-security-report@perl.org <mailto:perl5-security-report@perl.org>.
> 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 perl5.git.perl.org?
> 
> A: It will be made a mirror of https://github.com/Perl/perl5and 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.
> 

One of the features about our infrastructure that I have most 
appreciated over the years is the fact that I can use either a mail 
interface (perl5-porters@perl.org) or a news interface 
(perl.perl5.porters) to both read and write to the list.  I've always 
enjoyed the fact that I can handle my perl groups in a way completely 
outside the scope of my email accounts, i.e., via the news interface.

Up until now, this has also meant that everything posted to rt.perl.org 
(whether original postings via email to perlbug@perl.org or subsequent 
follow-ups via email or web interface) has been cross-posted to both the 
mailing list and the newsgroup.

I understand from personal experience and from many 
bug-ticket-conversations with Robert and Ask (our sysadmins) that these 
are the parts of the system that have been difficult to maintain.  For 
example, just last week there was a case where messages were being 
posted on the mailing list but not simultaneously being posted to the 
newsgroup and archived at 
https://www.nntp.perl.org/group/perl.perl5.porters/.

Even if, under the proposed new system, only the first posting in a 
GitHub issue is cross-posted to the list, I would like us to continue to 
guarantee that that first posting is cross-posted to both the mailing 
list and the newsgroup.  (I understand that subsequent postings to a 
GitHub issue will not be cross-posted to the mailing list, so I won't 
expect them to be cross-posted to the newsgroup (or archived) either.)

I would also like us to continue to guarantee that one can still read or 
write the list using either mail or news interfaces.

If making these guarantees work requires additional coding effort, I am 
willing to be part of such an effort.

Thank you very much.
Jim Keenan

> 
> 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,
> 
> S.
> 

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