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From Christofer Dutz <>
Subject Re: Discussions in pull requests vs. dev list (was: The Apache Way and good developers...)
Date Fri, 02 Nov 2018 17:30:47 GMT

Well in the PLC4X project we are using GitHub pull requests. All comments are forwarded to
the list and this is fine. You are able to follow what's going on without much problems.

However when it comes to the PR reviews, things tend to get it of hand. Every now and then
I open my mail client to find 50 new emails and all of these are related to a single PR and
each mail being a single comment. This is extremely annoying


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From: Dave Fisher <>
Sent: Friday, November 2, 2018 4:59:43 PM
Subject: Re: Discussions in pull requests vs. dev list (was: The Apache Way and good developers...)

HI Bertrand,

YES! This is the big issue with GitHub based projects/podlings.

> On Nov 2, 2018, at 9:14 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'd like to address this specifically as I think it's a common issue
> in many of our projects today.
> On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 4:31 PM Craig Russell <> wrote:
>> ...One potential problem is the work flow using the github tools, which can have
the effect
>> of dialog "off-list" between the submitter and the other devs...
> I agree with that - in a project where most of the action happens on
> GitHub (*) it can be hard or impossible to follow the action by just
> subscribing to the project's dev list.
> I don't think there's anything wrong with discussions happening in
> pull requests (PRs), that's the natural way of working in GitHub and
> their tools are extremely convenient and efficient.
> However I think we need to stick to the principle that someone who's
> just reading the dev list isn't missing out on anything. It is what
> puts part-time contributors on an equal footing with people who work
> full time on our projects which is IMO a key aspect of the Apache Way.
> So, how do we fix this? Blindly copying all GitHub PR comments to a
> mailing list won't work IMO, as the result is not easy nor convenient
> to follow. Copying is required for archival purposes (**) but not
> practical for us humans IMO so I recommend copying to an "activity" or
> "commits" list, distinct from the dev list.
> One thing that I'd like to experiment in a podling (OpenWhisk) where I
> see this problem is to send weekly news to the dev list, listing which
> PRs are active, which modules are being actively worked on in
> multi-module project, etc. so that people know where to look in
> addition to the dev list.
> Ideally automated, but additional human comment certainly helps as well.

Regarding automation of this I think that the answer really lies in what can be automated
out of GitHub / GitBox.

If you have a conversation with Infra about this, please let me know. I’d like to include
some of other podlings in this experiment:

Also, Dubbo is making a good switchover to using the dev list and is currently voting in a
number of contributors as committers. It would be interesting to see what information they
would find relevant.


> I have mentioned that idea on the podling's dev list a while ago but
> didn't get any traction...I might try this myself and will report here
> if that happens. In the meantime, I'm interested in having other
> opinions on this topic.
> -Bertrand
> (*) which is fine given our tooling
> (**) in case GitHub goes away - remember we are designing this
> Foundation for the next 50 years
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