[webkit-dev] The green tree era

Adam Barth abarth at webkit.org
Sun Apr 4 23:53:16 PDT 2010

On Sun, Apr 4, 2010 at 4:30 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> On Apr 4, 2010, at 8:12 AM, Adam Barth wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 3, 2010 at 11:30 PM, Darin Adler <darin at apple.com> wrote:
> On Apr 3, 2010, at 10:36 AM, Adam Barth wrote:
> Keeping the tree green will require a cultural shift in the project, but I
> think the near term costs of changing the culture are outweighed by the long
> term gains in productivity.
> Typically a cultural shift would come after some sort of group discussion,
> rather than being announced on the mailing list as a fait accompli.
> We've been discussing this on the mailing list for a while.
> To comment on the below: I think sheriffbot partly fulfills my request for
> better notification (there's still no email notification) but not my request
> to have a human being in charge of maintaining greenness for each port. I
> will see if I can recruit somebody to be the (human) sheriff for Apple's
> ports.

Yes, sheriffbot isn't a complete solution.  Humans are needed to make
judgement calls about the right way to proceed.  (We can certainly add
direct emails if IRC and bug comments aren't noisy enough.)

> That being said, I think Darin's objection was not to the sheriffbot tool,
> but rather to declaring that based on it we now need to have a culture
> shift. I think that may have just been a case of infelicitous word choice. A
> better way to frame it would have been: "We now have this additional tool.
> Let's figure out how to make good use of it. Here are some ideas for how we
> could do that."

I think Darin and I had a miscommunication.  What I meant is that
sheriffbot alone can't magically keep the tree green.  To keep the
tree green, we'll also need a cultural shift.  I think a green tree
will be beneficial to the project for the reasons I outline in my


> * https://lists.webkit.org/pipermail/webkit-dev/2010-February/011562.html
> This email in particular, in which Maciej asks someone to build a bot
> that does precisely what sheriffbot does:
> [[
> I'd actually like to see it email a mailing list, in addition to the
> individuals it guesses are to blame. That could be either webkit-dev
> or a new list. Maybe some won't want the spam but I bet a lot of
> people would like to find out about every build break. If it's at all
> possible, it would be great to email all of the patch author, the
> reviewer and the committer (if different from the patch author).
> I also think it would be neat if we could have a bot that alerts about
> build breaks on IRC in #webkit.
> And finally, it might be good to have extra notice if a build remains
> broken for some time (every 24 hours maybe?)
> ]]
> * https://lists.webkit.org/pipermail/webkit-dev/2010-February/011792.html
> In which Maciej again asks that we have a sheriff (although I think he
> had a human rather than a machine in mind):
> [[
> What I'd prefer to see is that the sheriff
> the person primarily responsible for reverting broken patches if not
> fixed in a timely manner. Then we could have some human judgment in
> the process and specific people with clear responsibility.
> ]]

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