Gitlab Turn-off Issues

Ben Cooksley bcooksley at
Mon Jun 29 11:21:00 BST 2020

On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 9:42 PM Kevin Kofler <kevin.kofler at> wrote:
> Nicolás Alvarez wrote:
> > Apparently that's not available in GitLab's free edition:
> >
> :-(
> The cripplewareness of GitLab is a real problem, especially because everyone
> depends on this new monopoly now. (I see more and more big Free Software
> projects moving to it.)
> I think we really need either an uncrippled fork of GitLab or the
> high-profile users switching to really Free, not crippled, forges.

We're not switching again.

I should note that you can hardly call Gitlab crippled with the
feature set it offers in the Community Edition, that is a gross insult
towards what it provides capability wise.

> (What was wrong with Phabricator?)

Well lets see shall we?

1) Used Arcanist, which for many parts of the KDE Community was either
a non-option, loathed or despised. Not many people liked it.
2) If Arcanist was not used for submitting patches, then crucial
information was missing such as file context and author metadata
3) Has a small upstream that isn't particularly open to external contributions
4) Did not offer commit level review, which is a feature some wanted
5) Had limited options for the integration of pre-merge CI
6) Had a poor discoverability story in terms of linking the elements
of a project (repository, reviews, tasks, etc) together

I think that is a pretty good list of reasons as to why we started
moving away from Phabricator, especially (3).

All of the above, along with other items, were discussed on a number
of KDE mailing lists, including this one, around the time we proposed
and discussed switching away from Phabricator to Gitlab. Alternative
options were not raised at any point in that process.

I should also note that users were still equally able to access
Phabricator and open tasks there if they wanted, so there is no real
difference between Phabricator and Gitlab, except the
*discoverability* of Gitlab is much better (which ironically is one of
the issues we wanted to solve)

Just for the record, Phabricator did not support default description
templates unless you used a customised editor.

These could only be configured by Sysadmin and could only be setup on
a global basis, so you did not have the option of setting these on a
per-project basis, nor could additional templates be offered - if you
wanted more then we had to setup additional customised editors, and
the process for accessing customised editors was clumsy, as you
couldn't change the list of editors based on the project you were

Therefore for all intents and purposes, Phabricator did not have the
functionality you are talking about.

>         Kevin Kofler


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