[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.


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