Nate shouted it out as well: the KDE community has migrated over to its own locally-hosted GitLab community edition, called invent.kde.org. That’s the platform the community uses for collaboration on code, mostly. The previous gang of git-hosting, review-wrangling, patch-commenting and task-management has been replaced by one thing.
Most of my daily coding is for Calamares, which isn’t a KDE project, and which lives over on GitHub. My KDE activities are (besides board work) generally restricted to packaging on FreeBSD, so normally I work with release tarballs, not KDE git.
Circumstances conspired this week to force me to use KDE’s new GitLab: a handful of FreeBSD-related build failures, merge requests, and general tidying-up.
I like it.
I like it a lot.
And, of course, as with any tool change, there’s some things that annoy me or where I get lost in the workflow. So here’s some notes.
- 😄 Merges and rebases from the web-interface. This lets me do the administrative part of a merge-request from anywhere, and without dealing with git tooling. For simple patches, build fixes, and upstreaming of packager-patches, this is lovely.
- 😆 Drive-by editing. I was terrified to hit the commit button the first time, but a new branch is duly created from which a MR (merge-request) can be made.
- 😕 Sometimes merges “just work”, sometimes I get a you-must-rebase button, which fails to rebase as often as not. This confuses me; I haven’t had a situation where rebase then didn’t work from the command-line. And I can’t easily tell which repo’s want rebases and which accept merge commits.
- 🗹 The to-do list. This serves as a kind of backup to notifications, and shows me where I have been called-upon in other issues. What’d be extra keen is if this also showed some more status items, like “this MR you filed has a strictly positive thumbs-count”.
- 👍 Speaking of thumbs, the MR workflow seems to be missing an explicit “approval” button, and the thumbs-up or -down buttons need to do that work. This could be better, but it’s also a social issue on how-to-interpret-thumbs when a MR changes.
- 😕 I get lost trying to find all of my MRs. MRs get submitted sometimes as drive-bys, sometimes through the fork-and-push method documented as the straightforward workflow, and sometimes through pushing-to-work-branches (which I can do because I have a KDE developer account; this is under-documented right now).
If there’s one thing I’d like, it’s a “show me all the MRs I have created” search – oh, wait, that’s the search “author is you”. That is not the default search when you click on the merge requests button near the profile button in invent. I had to clear the search and make this one (author is me) myself.
There’s also a to-do list that provides an overview of mentions, assignments, and other bits-and-bobs. That’s a different view from the MRs, which are in-flight code changes. It’s nice, especially because I can mark things as done without even diving into them.
So it’s gorgeous, y’hear? And my old Phabricator board is done: there’s nothing left that isn’t abandoned-except-for-a-last-check-with-other-participants. I’m ready for a new way of working together in the KDE community.
Edited to change the way I referred to “my merge requests”, since the link requires you to be logged in to see.