[webkit-dev] The tree is on fire: a tragedy of the commons

Jeremy Orlow jorlow at chromium.org
Fri Feb 26 12:00:10 PST 2010

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 8:53 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> On Feb 26, 2010, at 11:43 AM, Simon Fraser wrote:
>> Mozilla has (or at least had when I worked there) two additional "tree
>> rules" that helped keep the tree green:
>> 1. A sheriff was appointed at all times, and had the authority to close
>> the tree if there was significant build or test breakage. Closing the tree
>> meant that it was blocked to new commits other than those intended to fix
>> problems. Closing the tree also sends a strong message that "something is
>> broken, please pitch in and fix it if you can".
>> Sheriff duties were shared around between responsible committers, so as
>> not to overly burden one person.
> I think the build sheriff idea is a good one. Maybe what we want is to have
> a sheriff responsible for each build train that has an active buildbot. (It
> could be the same person responsible for several build trains, the main
> qualification would be having reasonable familiarity with a port and access
> to its build environment.)
> However, I am not so sure "close the tree" is necessarily the best focus
> for sheriff actions. 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.

I agree "close to the tree" is not necessary for the reasons you listed.
 And I think most people from the Chromium would welcome this change
(sheriff + ability to close).  We've been advocating it for some time now.

>  2. The Mozilla tinderbox page (their buildbot waterfall) had a way for
>> people to leave comments, by adding a "star" to a particular build with a
>> comment. This is used as a way to communicate that someone has noticed the
>> breakage, and is working on it.
> Sounds like a good idea. Wondering if that fits better in the console view
> or the extensions view.
>> In general, I think the waterfall page could be improved in order to make
>> "breakage archeology" easier. Entries in the Changes column should be direct
>> links to trac changesets, for example.
> That sounds good too. Another thing that would help is adding "next page"
> links to the console view, like we have on the waterfall. The console link
> often makes it easier to quickly identify the patch that went bad, but only
> if the badness is recent enough to show up.
> Regards,
> Maciej
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