[kde-community] Official KDE mirror on github

Riccardo Iaconelli riccardo at kde.org
Thu Sep 17 13:50:44 UTC 2015

On Monday, August 17, 2015 07:46:44 AM Martin Graesslin wrote:
> Hi community,
> over the last months I observed the following:
> * people not finding our git repositories
> * people being surprised that our code is not on github
> * some projects starting to use github in addition to our own infrastructure
> Whether we like it or not, github has become a place to look for free
> software  nowadays and if you are not on github your software just doesn't
> exist. Given that we can say KDE doesn't produce source code because we are
> not on github.


since this is finally going forward (yay!), I figured I would tell the story 
on how we handle things at WikiToLearn and why we have some problems with the 
new git.kde.org, to give the community some food for thought.

We have a slightly different git usage compared to other KDE projects: a 
traditional application has the whole source code hosted in one git 
repository, where years of original work are developed and constantly 

In our case, our codebase is mostly consisting of small configuration files 
and a few tweaks, a few standalone extensions to already existing software of 
very diverse nature. When our patches are _not_ upstreamable (most of the 
times), we fork the original source code, and we later pull everything 
together for the deployment through submodules. Our extensions also need to be 
pluggable in any mediawiki, so for everyone of those, there is a new 
repository. This means that we have 16 git repositories for the moment, and we 
will get to 20 before the end of the month.

Github working very well for us for a few reasons: the first one is automated 
docker build; which means that unless somebody decides to set up an own 
infrastructure for docker CI (and deploy?), which we have no resources to set 
up on our own, we have to use Docker's Hub which provides automated features 
for github.

Secondly, sister projects that we forked, or in general Mediawiki extensions, 
are largely developed on github. Asking for help to a community who works in 
the same place where your sources are is a big strenght, as KDE certainly 

The third, is that with the move to Phabricator we are going to have only flat 
git layouts. This means that every time any developer wants a new repo, they 
have to pass through an admin request. The ability to create a new repository 
with some dockerized software, and have it deployed on the staging server in a 
few tens of minutes is crucial to us, as it's very similar to what a developer 
do by running a make install.

The current situation is that, for all these problems, WikiToLearn code is 
being hosted only on github (still even under the old name WikiFM) with a 
small a KDE scratch repo is now used as a mirror. We're working on fixing this 
with the sysadmins, but the solution doesn't seem obvious. Fortunately, 
WikiToLearn code development only accounts for 5-10% of the real development 
time (the real value is in the content, so this figure will also decrease as 
time goes by), so it's not a tragedy, but it's still something to keep in 


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