[Maildev] Obligatory GitHub vs Mercurial (Mozilla-hosted) Question

Tom Prince mozilla at hocat.ca
Thu Dec 7 16:50:40 EST 2017

I agree with most of this.

On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 2:05 PM Magnus Melin <mkmelin+mozilla at iki.fi> wrote:

> Quite commonly for projects on github your fork is actually that, a fork,
> that you could be running for an extended time.

I don't think this is the common case; certainly most (maybe even all) of
the forks I have are to contribute to upstream projects.

> Mozilla is also putting a lot of resources into streamlining this flow
> with autoland plans etc., that will in time be integral parts of the
> bugzilla workflow. Switching to git would make following this quite a
> bit harder for Thunderbird.

One fact that mitigates this somewhat is that git integration is planned
for phabricator, so that contributors will be able to use git to interact
with the new code review tools.

> [...] having a git mirror is also just problematic if you ask me. Having
> that choice is more confusion than just having new contributors run a few
> commands in mercurial. Somehow I don't buy that hg. vs git would actually
> be a major barrier to contribute.

This is definitely false. I know several prominent, skilled open-source
developers who have not bothered to make contributions (even easy ones)
because they can't be bothered to figure out or install a new version
control system. We want to make it easy for new people to start
contributing to Thunderbird; any hurdle we put in front of people means we
will lose some people before they actually start contributing. Certainly
once somebody has started contributing regularly, we can push them to start
using hg, but that shouldn't be the first hurdle they face. In any case,
even some Mozilla employees working on large firefox projects use git for
them, so why should we make it harder for a casual contributor to work on
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