GitHub pull requests

Ben Gamari bgamari.foss at
Sun Oct 5 14:32:30 UTC 2014

Andreas Abel <abela at> writes:

> On 05.10.2014 07:03, Ben Gamari wrote:
>> and yet aren't willing to take the five (twenty?) minutes to familiarize
>> themselves with Phabricator and the arc toolchain.
> Are you serious about this?  I think your time estimate is a grand 
> illusion.
Fair enough; this may well be an underestimate.

To form the number I tried thinking back to my own experience
starting off with Phabricator (back in August, IIRC) which went roughly
as follows,

 1. I asked `thoughtpolice` about this new-fangled Phabricator thing
 2. He pointed me to the GHC wiki [1]
 3. I ignored nearly everything on the page but `The CLI` section,
    installing PHP (this is where I'm thankful to be running Linux where
    package installation is quite straightforward)
 4. I ran `arc diff`,
 5.a. I reflected on the mild shock of seeing that `arc` had squashed my
      carefully crafted patch set into a single commit. This still
      bothers me to this day.
 5.b. I moved on with life and had a coffee

All-in-all this perhaps took half an hour from start to
coffee. Admittedly, I had very little understanding of what was going on
underneath the shiny veneer (and more or less still don't), but I did
successfully submit a patch.

This being said, I can see that there are several places where this can
go awry. I hate to think of what this might look like on
Windows. Moreover, I have absolutely confidence that git would preserve
my work, regardless of what unholy things this new tool did to my
repo. Without this confidence I would have tread far more carefully
which inevitably would have cost time.

> I attended Joachim Breitner's talk about Phabricator at the 
> GHC developer meeting, that already  (nearly?) used up the twenty 
> minutes you allow.  Yet I still have to
> * try it the first time,
> * make sure I get everything right,
> * learn to *trust* the tool
>    * that is does the right thing,
>    * does not do anything bad to my files
>    * etc. pp.
> The brightest might be up to get on track in a couple of hours, but the 
> majority is quite hesitant towards new tools...
Prior to my experience I had read in a variety of venues about all of
the wonderful things that Phabricator would do for us. I understand that
casual contributors without this background may find it harder to even
motivate beginning the process of picking it up, regardless of how easy
this may be.

> Human condition.
Point taken. I agree that it can't hurt to expose a more familiar
interface to the world.


- Ben

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