[webkit-dev] A bot-filled future?

Adam Barth abarth at webkit.org
Thu Nov 12 11:37:19 PST 2009

As the project grows, we need to scale our processes to match.  In
large part, that means automating as much work as possible.
Commit-queue has done a good job of solving the "land patches from
non-committers efficiently" problem, effectively removing that as a
pain point.  I'd like to ask you to open your hearts and your minds to
the idea of automating more of our processes.

Currently, I see the biggest pain-point in our process as the
always-burgeoning pending-review list.  It's difficult to automate the
process of accepting good patches because that requires attention from
experts.  Instead, I think we should make it easier to reject bad
patches.  As a first step, I've started extending bugzilla-tool to be
a try server in <https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=31422>.
Here's how this might work:

1) Contributor posts patch for review.
2) Committer marks patch with the try? flag.
3) The try-queue downloads, applies, builds, and tests the patch.
4) If all systems are go, the try-queue marks the patch as try+.
Otherwise, it marks the patch as try- with an explanation of what went

The try-queue will be purely optional and advisory.  Hopefully a try-
notation will encourage the contributor to post a new version of the
patch that passes the try-queue.

Further down the road, one can also imagine another bot that automates
step (2) by scanning the pending-review list for untried patches and
marking them as try? when the try-queue has unused bandwidth.


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