RFE: use patchwork to submit a patch

Dmitry Vyukov dvyukov at google.com
Tue Oct 15 01:58:17 AEDT 2019

On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 7:20 PM Shuah Khan <skhan at linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> On 10/11/19 2:57 AM, Greg KH wrote:
> > On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 10:41:50AM -0400, Konstantin Ryabitsev wrote:
> >> Hi, all:
> >>
> >> I would like to propose a new (large) feature to patchwork with the goal to
> >> make the process of submitting a patch easier for newbies and people
> >> generally less familiar with patch-based development. This was discussed
> >> previously on the workflows list:
> >> https://lore.kernel.org/workflows/20190930202451.GA14403@pure.paranoia.local/
> >>
> >> How I envision this would work:
> >>
> >> - user creates an account (which requires a mail confirmation) >> - they choose a "submit patch" option from the menu
> >> - the patch submission screen has a succession of screens:
> >>
> >>   1. a screen with a single field allowing a user to paste a URL to     their
> >> fork of the git repository. Once submitted, patchwork does a     "git
> >> ls-remote" to attempt to get a list of refs and to verify that     this is
> >> indeed a valid git repository
> >
> > s/valid git repository/valid git repository based on the kernel git tree/
> >
> > Otherwise you might be sending out lots of emails for other projects :)
> >
> >>
> >>   2. next screen asks the user to select the ref to work from using the
> >> list obtained from the remote. Once submitted, patchwork performs a     `git
> >> clone --reference` to clone the repository locally using a     local fork of
> >> the same repo to minimize object transfer. This part     requires that:
> >>        a. patchwork project is configured with a path to a local fork,
> >> if this feature is enabled for a project
> >>        b. that fork is kept current via some mechanism outside of
> >> patchwork (e.g. with grokmirror)
> >>        c. there is some sanity-checking during the clone process to
> >> avoid abuse (e.g. a sane timeout, a tmpdir with limited size,          etc
> >> -- other suggestions welcome)
> >>
> >>   3. next screen asks the user to pick a starting commit from the log.
> >> Once submitted, patchwork generates the patch from the commit     provided
> >> to the tip of the branch selected by the user earlier,
> >>      using git format-patch.
> >>
> >>   4. next screen asks the user to review the patch to make sure this is
> >> what they want to submit. Once confirmed, patchwork performs two
> >> admin-defined optional hooks:
> >>
> >>        a. a hook to generate a list of cc's (e.g. get_maintainer.pl)
> >>        b. a sanity check hook (e.g. checkpatch.pl)
> >
> > I will note that many "first patch" submissions are checkpatch.pl
> > cleanups for staging.  When doing that, I require that they do "one
> > logical change per patch", which means that many of the individual
> > patches themselves will not be checkpatch.pl clean, because many lines
> > have multiple issues with them (tabs, spaces, format, length, etc.)
> >
> > So other than that minor thing, sounds interesting.  It's hard to
> > determine just how difficult the whole "set up git and send a patch out"
> > process is for people these days given the _huge_ numbers of new
> > contributions we keep getting, and the numerous good tutorials we have
> > created that spell out exactly how to do this.
> >
> > So you might be "solving" a problem that we don't really have.  It's
> > hard to tell :(
> >
> I agree with this. I don't think this a problem that is worth solving.
> When a new developer wants to send a patch, they don't need to create
> any accounts. They setup their email client and send patch.
> We have several resources that walk them through setting up email
> clients and sending patches. checkpatch.pl can be automated with
> git hooks.
> >> I know this is a pretty big RFE, and I would like to hear your thoughts
> >> about this. If there is general agreement that this is doable/good idea, I
> >> may be able to come up with funding for this development as part of the
> >> overall tooling improvement proposal.
> >
> > The workflow seems sane, and matches what most people do today, with the
> > exception that it "solves" the git send-email issue, right?  Is that our
> > biggest barrier?
> >
> > I would recommend interviewing some of the recent kernel mentor project
> > and outreachy applicants first, to try to determine exactly what their
> > problems, if any, were with our development process.  If they say that
> > this type of tool/workflow would have saved them hours of time and
> > energy, then that's a great indication that we should try to do this.
> >
> I would say considering the number of applicants to mentorship program
> and new developers it will be lot overhead to require them to create
> patchwork accounts, and it might even be hard overtime. A lot of them
> start out and drop out in the middle. With the current setup, nothing
> to cleanup.
> Setting up email clients and git hooks is one time task. It is the
> easiest of the learning curve for many new developers. New developers
> struggle with getting the change logs right, coding styles right, and
> responding to review comments and acting on them.
> These aren't something that can be automated and they just have to
> learn through experience of sending patches.
> My opinion based on contact with new developers as well running the
> mentorship program, I would sat this isn't something that needs
> solving.
> thanks,
> -- Shuah

As one data point, I cannot send emails with git send-email anymore.
It used to work, then broke and I don't know how to fix it. Now it says:

5.7.8 Username and Password not accepted. Learn more at
5.7.8  https://support.google.com/mail/?p=BadCredentials
s10sm8376885wrr.5 - gsmtp

I suspect it has something to do with two factor auth.
So that's it: it cannot contribute to kernel right now.
I will not consider time spent fixing it as useful time investment.

Any kernel documentation that I can find for gmail, mentions config
that I am already using and that is not working:

As another data point, I spoke to KP Singh at the Plumbers. He is a
"returning" kernel developer (so already did this before), he said it
took him 3 days and 52 configurations changes (all were committed to
git, so was possible to count exactly) to setup mail client properly.
And he is "staffed" to do kernel work, I would expect that most people
who don't _have_ to do kernel contributions will turn away half-way.

As another data point, several people told me that they are afraid of
sending kernel patches b/c there is so much "on you" to do right.

I would say that we need to aim at  a process that does not require a
friendly experienced person to answer any of your questions in the
common case. Lots of people will simply not ask any questions.

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