Create a ghc-simple-patch-propose list? Re: Notes from Ben's "contribute to ghc" discussion

Michael Sloan mgsloan at
Thu Sep 29 10:05:08 UTC 2016

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Eric Seidel <eric at> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 28, 2016, at 18:37, Ben Gamari wrote:
> > Moritz Angermann <moritz at <javascript:;>> writes:
> >
> > > All that arc essentially does is, compute the diff from an offset
> > > (e.g. master) to the current HEAD and upload that to a new or existing
> > > (--update) differential. It also adds some meta information about the
> > > range, such that arc patch supposedly knows into which commit to apply
> > > the patch to.
> > >
> > Sure, but this leads to generally unreviewable patches IMHO. In order to
> > stay sane I generally split up my work into a set of standalone patches
> > with git rebase and then create a Diff of each of these commits.
> > Phabricator supports this by having a notion of dependencies between
> > Diffs, but arcanist has no sensible scheme for taking a branch and
> > conveniently producing a series of Diffs.
> I completely understand how this would be frustrating for core
> contributors (more specifically for people submitting large patches),
> but for new or casual contributors it's actually quite freeing. I don't
> have to worry about how messy my local history gets, because arc will
> throw it all away regardless! It absolves me of an extra responsibility,
> and lowers the barrier to contributing.

I dislike this workflow because I am already used to doing a lot of git
rebasing / amending / auto squashing.  So using arc means taking away my
ability to write multi commit stories of how the change was crafted. For
large changes there are often multiple logical inter related steps.
Squashing them into one big commit makes it much harder to review.  I can
easily do that myself by marking everything as squash in a rebase. It feels
like arcanist is just taking away power, not giving it (note i have not
used it much - voice of a newbie here)

I am beginning to change my feelings on this, away from thinking of GitHub
as an auxilliary source of didferentials.  Instead perhaps GitHub's new
review system may be the way forward for GHC. It allows you to easily use
git in the way it's meant to be used.


> It would be nice to support both workflows though :)
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