[sane-devel] [janitorial] Relocating the SANE Project

Olaf Meeuwissen paddy-hack at member.fsf.org
Fri Jan 26 08:59:13 UTC 2018

Dear all,

TL;DR :: Let's move to GitLab.com!  Mailing list TBD.

# Apologies for the belated follow-up.  I planned to wait a week or so
# to let the dust settle before following up but then Real Life got in
# the way :-(

Now for the long story,

On 2018-01-08, Olaf Meeuwissen (that's me!) wrote:

> [ ... Alioth will be discontinued sometime in 2018-05 ... so]
> the SANE Project will no longer be able to:
>  - communicate via the mailing lists
>  - push commits to its official git repositories
>  - update the bug and feature requests trackers
>  - update its website
> So we have to move some place else for our project hosting but where?

I made a couple of suggestions and asked for feedback.  Apart from one
off-list request to join the SANE project on GitLab.com, not one of the
SANE developers has chimed in.  I will take that to mean that everyone
will be fine with whatever gets chosen in the end.  Speak up if that's
not the case!

The non-developers that did follow up mentioned[1] Sourceforge as a
possibility (and questioned[2] whether that was serious), offered help
with moving the mailing list to Debian infra-structure[1] (thanks,
btw!) and a preference for GitHub[3][4].

There was also a fairly detailed account[5] of the pros and cons of
GitLab vs. GitHub as well as an offer to host mailing lists[6].
Finally, there was a hint on how to get release notifications from
GitHub using an RSS feed[7].

There was the notion that GitLab/GitHub issues and merge/pull requests
could meaningfully replace a large part of the mailing lists[3][5], yet
having mailing lists (archives) around would be nice.  Several people
also pointed out that moving[4][5] and/or mirroring[3] git repositories
elsewhere would be easy and that GitHub Pages have their "quirks"[5].
Finally, the fact that GitLab.com supports logging in via GitHub,
Google, Twitter and BitBucket accounts was pointed out as a pro[5].
Neither GitHub nor the Debian GitLab instance provide this (although the
latter could, in theory).

 [1]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035897.html
 [2]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035900.html
 [3]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035911.html
 [4]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035898.html
 [5]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035899.html
 [6]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035921.html
 [7]: https://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2018-January/035912.html

Taking this all in, and putting the mailing lists issue aside for a bit,
I still prefer moving to GitLab.com.  In terms of repository, issues and
merge/pull request support it offers pretty much the same as GitHub, but
on top of that allows you to log in using accounts users may have with
(selected) other services.  This, I think, lowers the barrier to report
issues.  Furthermore, GitLab.com comes with CI out-of-the-box (which is
used already by the current *unofficial* mirror, btw!).

The idea of putting a repository mirror on GitHub is interesting but I'm
not sure how pull requests and issues would work out if things are split
over multiple sites.

Back to mailing lists, I think that for the short term making use of the
Alioth mail continuation project[8] is our best alternative, although I
am not exactly clear on that project's status.  If I understand things
correctly the current list maintainer will be asked to opt in before
Alioth is discontinued.

I have also considered moving to lists.debian.org but in that case we
probably won't be able to make the list subscriber-only or moderate
incoming posts[9][10].

 [8]: https://wiki.debian.org/Alioth/MailingListContinuation
 [9]: https://wiki.debian.org/Alioth#Mailing_lists
 [10]: https://www.debian.org/MailingLists/HOWTO_start_list

In either case, sane-commit is extremely likely to disappear (you can
use the commit notification functionality of GitLab instead).  As for
sane-standard (which has seen less than 100KB gzipped traffic since July
2004!), I think it doesn't serve any purpose.  SANE standard discussions
can be held on sane-devel.  The sane-announce list sees even less
traffic but does serve a well-defined purpose (prevent announcements
from "drowning" in the other traffic) and should be migrated together
with sane-devel.

Anyway, I'll check the status on [8] and look at some other mailing list
hosting solutions but in the mean-time, how does everyone feel about
moving to GitLab.com?

Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen, LPIC-2            FSF Associate Member since 2004-01-27
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