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Re: [Xen-devel] Improve or change devel mailing-list for improve efficiency and spending less time, is this possible?

Adding Russell,

On 31/08/2015 15:16, "Wei Liu" <wei.liu2@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>CC Lars.
>On Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 03:46:30PM +0200, Fabio Fantoni wrote:
>> I saw some discussions about the developer cycle, patch review and how
>> improve.
>> Based on what I saw an important thing for improve efficiency and
>> less time is the way of communication, actual seems only
>> It seems to me that currently has some limits and in many cases takes a
>> time for some specific searches,trouble finding patches that need
>> etc...
>> A good solution I think would be a forum specific for developing with
>> features:

Fabio, of course the downside is that some developers are quite happy with
mailing lists. There is also a generational gap: developers that grew up
with lists prefer lists, developers that grew up with forums prefer forums
(the same is true for people starting in FOSS with github, which exposes
forum like functionality). This is a well known problem in many FOSS
ll-use-mailing-lists is covering many topics of that debate (without
getting religious about it).

We did also have a discussion at the 2014 developer meeting, where we
discussed the high volume of traffic on xen-devel. At the time we decided
not to split the list and use better tagging (arm, x86, tools, ...).

Russell has evaluated some off-the shelf tooling that would allow bridging
the gap: unfortunately there is nothing good out there, which works well
in practice. Google groups, which was designed with list support in it
also kind of sucks. However, I believe we still have a project with a
contractor ongoing to try and bridge xen-users with
http://xenproject.org/help/questions-and-answers.html (such that they
become mirrors of each other) - I will let Russell give an update. If that
project gets to the point that the bridge works, that nobody is badly
impacted, maybe we can consider extending it to other lists.

>> - light even if with many specific features useful for developing and
>> compatible with all browser and devices
>> - have all as forum discussion that is easier to search, access to all
>> etc... now the search is only via web for month (losing link in
>> months) and with mail (if storing thousands of emails per month)

Actually, this is why provide http://xen.markmail.org/ - it also provides
some advanced search queries (see
I can check whether we can configure mhonarc our archiver differently, or
whether there are other options. Maybe there are better archivers we could
look at also

>> - possibility to include group or single users (for example
>>maintainers) to
>> a discussion (also notify with mails based on specific destination users
>> settings), better that send mails, faster for search, will avoid also
>> problem of mails not received, mail address changed etc...

I guess that would be hard to implement (even scripts/get_maintainer.pl
has issues). Also of course the drawback is that the entire contribution
workflow may have to change (it is currently build around git send-email)

>> - good patch "integration", possibility to include/see/download
>>patches, raw
>> vision (like the patch sent now with mail with git), add of special tags
>> etc... This is probably the more difficult thing to do because need to
>> the best way to manage well the patches, including series and ultimately
>> have a better solution to track, review, comment, etc...

I am not sure, whether there is any decent git integration with any

>> - optionally automatic include maintainer for patch posted, probably
>> loading it on server scanning with a similar to

See above

>> - advanced searching including if is a normal discussion or patch, if
>> user is present on notify list, selection of all tags, for example for
>> search in patch that are fix or features, is the discussion/patch is
>> reply or with reply older that specified range (faster search of patch
>> without review, or without recent reply), is closed (about patch if
>> or not

We may be able to do some of this: I am currently working with a company
called Bitergia which does open source dashboards and analysis of open
source communities. One of these activities is to model the review process
for us, such that we can reliable stats.

You can do some of what you need with the xen mark mail search with
queries such as 'list:xen-devel subject:patch -subject:"Re:"'

There is a problem with identifying stale reviews on mailing lists. Which
is what I assume you are looking for. You can't tell reliably from the
list whether
* a review has ended because the code went into git
* whether it has been abandoned
* whether it is waiting to be looked at

Bitergia have been working on a new UI for other projects. A prototype for
us it at http://projects.bitergia.com/previews/ng/dashboard.html?db=xen :
the data sources are not quite right, the config is not quite right and it
does not cover reviews. In any case, you can filter commits by time, repo,
company, ... The link back to git is currently also not yet working.

A similar view would be available for code reviews: right now, that only
works for projects that use Gerrit or similar tools. But assuming we can
model the review workflow for us, it may be possible to create some custom
searches on that combined database. You can filter by

>> I did a fast internet search about without find a similar solution, the
>> near thing is probably forum with some specific extension (if exist).

I don't think there is much today, which is surprising.

>> There are some solutions with part of these goals but lacking in some
>> important, for example github.

>> What do you think about this?
>> Thanks for any reply and sorry for my bad english.

Your English was great!

>> _______________________________________________
>> Xen-devel mailing list
>> Xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> http://lists.xen.org/xen-devel

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