[ocaml-platform] [ANN] Experiment: OCaml patch review on github.com/ocaml/ocaml

Gabriel Scherer gabriel.scherer at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 11:34:01 GMT 2014

TL;DR: During the six next months, we will follow pull requests (PR)
posted on the github mirror of the OCaml distribution, as an
alternative to the mantis bugtracker. This experiment hopes to attract
more people to participate in the extremely helpful and surprisingly
rewarding activity of patch reviews.

Dear OCaml community,

I think we need more people ready to review patches proposed for
inclusion in the OCaml compiler/distribution; lack of reviews is
currently one of the bottleneck in the development process -- among
others, such as the sheer difficulty to reach consensus on any change
to the language itself. Doing patch reviews is helpful, extremely
interesting, and an excellent way to get to know more about small
parts of the compiler.

There was a resurgence of discussions on caml-list (Yotam Barnoy's
[moving to github] and Adrien Nader's thoughtful proposal of
a [mailing-list for patch review]). Amir Chaudhry launched a poll to
record decreasing order of preference, and the [results] are
clear-cut: people hate Mantis' guts, and would rather use anything

[moving to github]: http://alan.petitepomme.net/cwn/2013.12.24.html#5
[mailing-list for patch review]:
[results]: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QWhqJRv1yPvdi6E3AiqbvUwlqGorV_Wbk7h_JYuDUiQ/viewanalytics

I declare open the following experiment: for six months, starting
today upto late July, patches proposed for the OCaml distribution may
be submitted as a pull request (PR) on the [main github mirror], and
we warmly encourage anyone to review the proposed patches, and make
any comments they feel can help. Anything that can help improve the
contribution, or discuss potential issues (backward compatibility,
future-proofiness of the change, alternative designs...) will speed up
the time between a patch proposal and a clear decision to integrate it
or not.

[main github mirror]: https://github.com/ocaml/ocaml/

In six months, we will reconsider, the default choice being to stop
using github and revert to a mantis-only workflow. In the meantime,
I will mirror the github PRs on the mantis side, so that contributors
that do not wish to use the github interface can continue working as
before. Patches and reviews are of course still welcome on mantis.

Note that github will *not* be used for issue tracking, only for patch
reviews. If you want to submit a patch against a bug discussed in
Mantis, or want to re-submit a patch already in Mantis (in the wild
hope of more eyeballs), feel free to send a github PR and link to it
from the bugtracker. Finally, the github mirror remains *read-only*:
if patches are accepted, the PR will be closed but will be committed
to the SVN first, and synced in git as usual.

We're just trying things to see if it works better. I hope it does. In
any case, thanks in advance for your participation -- whichever tool
you use. Happy hacking!


PS: If you want to get notified for all Pull Requests sent, you
(need a github account and) can click on the "Watch" button in the top
right of http://github.com/ocaml/ocaml to register for
notifications. In the [notification settings] page of your account,
you can set up notifications to get send by email and/or to the
(mostly useless) github notification web interface.

[notification settings](https://github.com/settings/notifications)

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