"Series" support questions

Daniel Axtens dja at axtens.net
Sat Feb 24 13:15:07 AEDT 2018

Hi Bjorn,

> The new "series" support is seems like a potentially nice thing but
> isn't super useful to me yet.  Maybe I'm not using it correctly, or
> maybe there are enhancements planned.  Here's what I see:
>   - The "Series" column takes up a lot of horizontal space in the
> browser window.
>   - The content is usually redundant because it's either the same as
> the "Patch" column (for single patches) or it's repeated N times for a
> series of N patches.
There is clearly (clearly!) a long way to go with UI and once we fix the
bugs we will work on it!

> What would seem useful to me is to treat a series as more of a
> first-class object, e.g.,
>   - Omit the "Series" column entirely.
>   - For single patches, don't show any series information at all.
>   - For N-patch series, show the series title on a separate line,
> followed by the existing 1..N lines indented a little bit, e.g.,
>       Series: Address error and recovery for AER and DPC
>         [v10,7/7] PCI/DPC: Enumerate the devices after DPC trigger event
>         [v10,6/7] PCI: Unify wait for link active into generic pci
>         [v10,5/7] PCI/AER: Unify aer error defines at single space
>         ...

So you've landed on the big philosophical debate between mainline
Patchwork and the freedesktop fork - are we mostly about series, or
mostly about patches? The freedesktop fork went big on series and we
went big on patches. I got involved mostly on the tail-end of this,
Stephen can fill you in further. But I think having done that, we
actually got it half-right and half-wrong: we were write to have patches
as the key back-end element, but we were wrong to have them as the key
front-end element; that should have been Series.

There are currently lots of issues parsing series out of emails (out of
order delivery! parallel parsing of multiple emails in the same series!
the several ways people don't do threading properly!) that lead to them
being a bit flaky. Once we fix that and the other pressing performance
bugs, I think making Series a bigger thing in the front end is definitely
worth persuing.

Of course, as far as I'm aware, no-one is funding Patchwork maintenance,
so this is all going at the normal snails pace of volunteer open-source
work :)

Hope this provides some useful background, and hopefully we'll keep
moving towards pw being more useful for you!


>   - It would be nice if the series line included the version.
>   - It would be super cool if the series line had a checkbox that
> could be used to supersede, accept, mark N/A, etc for the whole series
> at once.
>   - The "Date" and "Submitter" fields are redundant in a series; maybe
> showing them once on the hypothetical new "Series" line would be
> enough.
> I do see that clicking the text in the "Series" column gets me to a
> page, e.g., https://patchwork.ozlabs.org/project/linux-pci/list/?series=29978,
> where I can check the "Patch" box to select the series as a whole.  I
> could probably make more use of that than I do, but my internet
> connection is pretty slow, so I would definitely prefer something that
> works on the main page.
> Bjorn
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> Patchwork at lists.ozlabs.org
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