[Kde-scm-interest] Alternate Git options

Jeff Mitchell mitchell at kde.org
Tue May 11 21:29:47 CEST 2010

We just had a discussion in #kde-git where, essentially, we all voiced
our hesitations about going with Gitorious at this point. I know the
Shortcut guys are in a tough position, but realistically speaking:

* The code has seen only a handful of commits over the past two months
* Questions on the mailing list are not promptly attended to
* Merge requests for the software have been rotting for very long
periods of time
* The IRC channel is most often a dead zone
* The permission system is still not robust enough, and request for
enhancements go unanswered

I say all this a someone who has Gitorious set up at work and has people
using it...I'm fearful for its future there, and certainly don't think
given the current situation that KDE switching onto it at this point is
a wise move. Granted, none of us are privy to the Board's discussions,
but we do know that the cost is high.

The cost will be even higher if we switch to it, even a self-hosted
instance, and end up having to maintain it all ourselves. It is *not* an
easy bit of software to administer.

This all said, we discussed a few alternatives in #kde-git and I was
asked to put them on this list for discussion:


Git hosting:
* Gitolite -- Gitolite is a rewrite of the venerable Gitosis repository
management tool. It has some nice advanced features like advanced ACL
handling, even on a per-branch basis. This could allow some super nice
things like, for instance, the web site: imagine that we have a test web
server and a production web server. The www repository could have two
branches, one for test and one for production, where work is performed
by a larger number of people on the test branch and those with
appropriate access can pull those changes over to the production branch.

See http://github.com/sitaramc/gitolite#readme for more details.

Merge requests:
Nothing but GitHub and Gitorious currently handle merge requests per se,
but Reviewboard's git handling is getting better.

Git browsing:
cgit -- Gnome's site uses cgit -- see http://git.gnome.org/browse/ It's
really not that bad. That's one option.

Redmine -- Redmine is a vaguely SourceForge-ish project management
solution that has features for home pages, wiki, documents, files, issue
tracking, code browsing, and more all built in. You can see a screen
shot of its issue tracker tracking itself (i.e. viewing a Git pull of
the redmine repository) here: http://i40.tinypic.com/1zvx4hv.png

It's not the nicest thing in the world, but it's clean and simple, and
can do diffs and effective browsing.

Another really nice thing about Redmine is that its issue tracking is
pretty decent (check out http://www.redmine.org/projects/redmine/issues
). Plus, it has built-in support for changing issue state based on merge
commits, which is super nice.


At this point, if I had to pick a solution for us, I'd say Gitolite +
Redmine, with migration of our Bugzilla over to Redmine. I think this
provides a pretty nice capability, allowing each project to have its own
issues, wiki, news, repository, and so on yet still be a part of the KDE
whole. Clean separation, yet still unity. We could even still throw cgit
on top, allowing for multiple ways of browsing code depending on
individuals' preferences.

I'm willing to set up and host any of these tools on my server (which is
an official KDE server) if anyone wants to trial them.


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