reviewing on GitLab

Simon Peyton Jones simonpj at
Thu Jun 6 22:01:32 UTC 2019

I agree.  It's frustrating.

I spent quite a bit of effort distilling ideas to help make GitLab better here:

We shared those ideas with them, and I believe they promised to think about them.  I think would be reasonable to ask them politely whether they see any merit in them, whether there is any chance they might get implemented, and whether they would be willing to engage in a dialogue with us about them.

Issue #1 is by far the most important.

Richard: you might want to elaborate the document with any new problems you have now uncovered.


| -----Original Message-----
| From: ghc-devs <ghc-devs-bounces at> On Behalf Of Richard
| Eisenberg
| Sent: 06 June 2019 20:34
| To: Simon Peyton Jones via ghc-devs <ghc-devs at>
| Subject: reviewing on GitLab
| Hi all,
| I've just reviewed !364, and it was a painful experience. Perhaps
| documenting why will help spur more UI innovations.
| - My review was in response to several of the author's in-line comments,
| which themselves were in response to previous in-line comments. This has
| to be a common scenario.
| - The *only* place I could get a simple listing of all the new comments
| was in my notification email. Neither the Discussion tab nor the Changes
| tab on GitLab allow me to collect recent comments, as they new comments
| are placed directly below the old comments, each of which started at
| different points in time.
| - The Discussions tab has all the comments somewhere. But for each
| comment, I had to search (with Ctrl+F) on the page to find the
| corresponding comment trail, so I could get context. The order on the
| Discussions tab was unrelated to the order in my email.
| - Actually, not all comments were on the Discussions page, because the
| commit author had *resolved* a discussion. In this case, though, I still
| wanted to comment. So I had to search (with Ctrl+F) for "resolved" so I
| could find the comment trail and unresolve it.
| - The Changes page has much more code context than the Discussions page.
| So I had that open, too, so I could scroll through the code. Not all the
| comments appeared on the Changes page, because the most interesting, most
| important files are always hidden by default. Even after expanding the
| relevant files, the comment trails did not always appear. Perhaps 30
| seconds wasn't enough waiting.
| - All this means that this was my workflow:
|   1. Scroll through my notification email to see the author's next
| comment.
|   2. Ctrl+F with the text of that comment to find it on the Discussion
| tab. (Ctrl+F for "resolved" if the first search fails.)
|   3. If necessary, then use the line numbers and source file names from
| the Discussions tab to find the the relevant code in the Changes tab...
| which were often offset by a few lines, as things churn.
| I needed three windows open to complete a fairly simple review!
| I believe this is easy to fix: make the Discussions tab *chronological*.
| And have a link from the comment on the Discussions page to the Changes
| page that warps you to just the right spot in the code, with the full
| commentary context. (Right now, the link from the Discussions page just
| brings you to the file in the Changes page, not the line.)
| I know this isn't the first time we've suggested this or complained, but
| I'm not aware of progress (or even "it's on our queue") from GitLab. Has
| that happened? Is there a way to prioritize this? This review process is
| really a drag!
| Many thanks,
| Richard
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