[Members] [Standards] Evaluating gitlab.com as new location for XEP Editor repositories (xeps+registar)
jonas at wielicki.name
Sun Jun 14 15:10:54 UTC 2020
Thank you for your feedback. I hear you. I totally see where you’re coming
from. Moving off GitHub, which is, as you say, where the people are, is a
thing which needs to be considered carefully. Ultimately, the Board will have
to decide (hence also CC to members@).
First of all, please let me say that I brought this up purely for technical
reasons. I don’t have any horses in this race on whether we’re on GitLab or
GitHub, for political or other reasons (I don’t believe much in the GitHub-is-
now-microsoft-and-should-be-avoided thing  and I think we’re not quite
there yet with decentralised or de-monopolised code hosting. So this is truly
not it. Though that hype happens to have given us control over gitlab.com/xsf,
so there’s that at least.).
I’d prefer to let things be with the status quo, even if only because updating
all the references will be a pain, if the status quo wasn’t terrible.
Originally, this wasn’t about xeps even. This was about the registrar
repository, which has been malfunctional since the last major change to the
infrastructure back in 2017(?). That is an unacceptable state.
We’ve been collaborating with iteam (which also is short on time, mind) to
find a solution. As it turns out, the current interaction between Docker Hub
and GitHub cannot be replicated without introducing security problems (giving
Docker Hub write access to all xsf repositories) due to changes on either side
of the APIs involved.
In addition, we need a solution which is as simple as possible on our end of
things, which means ideally that it works with just a docker pull && docker
Thus, I’ve pondered other options. GitLab CI has the massive advantage of
being tightly integrated with the GitLab platform. I was able to set up the
registry and xep builds within just an hour or two and have been improving on
them since then, giving us automated emailing and archiving.
It also seems to be faster on average than the average Docker Hub build, which
is good for editor tiredness. Please see the original email for notes on which
immediate advantages we gain from what I just did this weekend on the editor
side of things.
> Also just in general, I completely disagree. We need to be where the
> people are, and the people are on GitHub whether we like it or not.
> Don't split up the repos and make XSF resources even harder to find than
> they already are, don't make things more complicated than they need to
> be, and everything will be fine.
The exodus of editors since the last change to the infrastructure (moving the
builds to Docker Hub) makes me think that it is very much not going to be
fine. pep. and I are the two people doing most of the day-to-day work in the
team (out of the six members we still have left) and it’s still draining.
Calls for support have gone (mostly) unanswered.
This is fixing the issues in the Editor work you complained about in the past
and which, I think, caused you to leave the team.
> Please don't do this.
I don’t see how we have a choice unless someone finds a way to do all of what
I mentioned on GitHub. Or at least the most important parts of that, which
would be the automated tagging, archiving and improved build times, and all of
that without introducing a security nightmare.
The Registrar has been unable to operate for over three years now. Changes
have been blocked and rejected because of this. It is not a way we can
continue to operate.
Sure it would be nice if we could stay at a place where "the people are"
(though I think the ability to log in via GitHub makes the hurdle rather small
for GitLab.com). That is indeed the thing which makes me most uneasy with this
change. However, I’m more uneasy with not having working Editor processes for
such a long time and seeing the standards work suffer under it.
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