[GHC DevOps Group] The future of Phabricator

Ben Gamari ben at well-typed.com
Tue Oct 30 14:34:02 UTC 2018

Manuel M T Chakravarty <chak at justtesting.org> writes:

> Hi Ben,
> Given that large organisations work with large code bases on GitHub, I
> am still puzzled why GHC somehow cannot do that. (I do understand that
> the dev process that has been established within GHC is naturally
> focused around Phabricator and its tools. However, that doesn’t mean
> it couldn’t be changed to work as well as before, but with another
> tool.)
> In any case, I think, you didn’t mention one of the options we did
> discuss previously, namely to use GitHub together with a service that
> adds more sophisticated code review functionality, such as
>   https://reviewable.io <https://reviewable.io/>
Some of the issues I list with GitHub are entirely orthogonal to
GitHub's code review tool.

While Rust has shown that large open-source projects can use GitHub,
they have also demonstrated that it requires a remarkable amount of
automation (I counted three distinct bots in use on the first random
pull request I opened). In my own discussions with Rust-lang maintainers
they have noted that even with this tooling they are still somewhat
unhappy with the amount of manual busywork working within GitHub

More generally, I think the move to CircleCI in a way underscores why
I'm a bit hesitant to move to another silo. While it generally does
"just work", there have been several cases where I have had to have
multi-week interactions CircleCI support to work through inscrutable
build issues. Moreover, we continue to be bit by the inability to
prioritize jobs and, despite efforts, still have no ability to build for
non-Linux/amd64 platforms. Consequently I'm rather skittish about moving
to another platform where we have limited insight into issues, no
influence over direction of development, and no ability to fix bugs
where necessary.


- Ben
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