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

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at iki.fi
Mon Dec 11 16:42:00 EST 2017


On 11-12-2017 02:17, Tom Prince wrote:
> If we only people we want to contribute are people that make 
> "considerable" contributions, we won't ever get more contributors. 
> Most people who contribute will start with small fixes. There is some 
> discussion of this 
> inhttps://medium.freecodecamp.org/the-bad-practice-in-foss-projects-management-32f66c3515f9#da06. 
> I think this dismissive response to small contributions is not good 
> for the health of the project.

I certainly didn't mean to imply small contributions aren't welcome, 
they sure are.

>
> In any case, I think you significantly underestimate the effort 
> required to install and learn a new version control tool enough to 
> contribute using it. Certainly the actual time to download and install 
> mercurial (from selecting the program to install to it being 
> installed) may only be 30s (on a good internet connection, but as you 
> point out the size of the mozilla and thunderbird repository will be a 
> larger issue in this case). But, there is also
>
>   *  figuring out which program to install (is it `mercurial` or `hg`
>     or something else)
>   * figuring out how to clone the thunderbird repos
>   * figuring out how to get something out of the repo to submit as a
>     change
>   * dealing with the possibility that there exists commands with
>     identical names in git and hg that have opposite behavior, which
>     could easily lead to losing changes
>
There is for sure things that can be improved in our documentation for 
the process above. For people starting out, the few commands you need to 
clone create a patch are not that many.

I don't have a strong preference for git or hg myself, I just think 
having unnecessary options is usually more confusing than it's worth, 
even if the intentions are good.

  -Magnus

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