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

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at iki.fi
Fri Dec 8 00:55:34 EST 2017

On 07-12-2017 23:50, Tom Prince wrote:
>     [...] 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.

On linux, installing mercurial is maybe 30s and even on Windows, you'll set it 
up in a few minutes. I'm sorry, but if 30s of your time is a major hurdle to 
contribute, your contributions are not going to be considerable. For 
comparison, setting up the build environment on Windows is a multi-hour effort 
even on a fast machine and fast connection. Downloading the initial repos is 
almost 3GB. I would think on the list of things blocking contribution, these 
are more important hurdles, but of course not easily addressable.
> 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 thunderbird?

Conversely, why should we make it harder for people working on Mozilla (and 
used to hg) to contribute the off patches to Thunderbird?

With an assumption of the single source of truth, we're tied to whatever 
Mozilla is using.


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