Wikimedia Release Engineering Team/Code review platform guideline
This page is currently a draft.
Code review platform choice guideline
This document aims to address the question of:
"For my software project at the Wikimedia Foundation: Where should I host my code? Where should I host my code-review?"
The default location for code hosting and code-review is on the WMF-hosted platform (currently Gerrit, soon to be Phabricator).
There are two exceptions:
- There is an exception to this default for code hosting (but not code-review) when you (the project maintainers) and WMF Release Engineering agree that the Continuous Integration services provided by WMF Release Engineering are not sufficient for the project (example: iOS application building and testing requiring the maintenance of Mac OS X machines).
- There is an exception to this default for code hosting and code-review when the project is maintained by community members or staff in their volunteer capacity or if it was started before the staff member joined the Foundation (example: gdnsd).
The first of Wikimedia's "guiding principles" addresses the fact the the Wikimedia community and Wikimedia Foundation are deeply rooted in the values of the free culture and free software movements. As such, as "an organization, we strive to use open source tools over proprietary ones, although we use proprietary or closed tools (such as software, operating systems, etc.) where there is currently no open-source tool that will effectively meet our needs."
Because of this guiding principle the WMF has always hosted it's own source code and code-review platform internally. In the beginning code review happened on a mailing list, then via a MediaWiki extension, and most recently in Gerrit (and soon in Phabricator).
For security reasons, the WMF Operations team has a policy of only allowing the deployment of code pulled from trusted repositories (at this time, Gerrit) to production servers (the set of machines that serve traffic to WMF-hosted projects). This policy does not impact WMF Labs projects.
Unified development platform
The WMF is consolidating it's development-related platforms from at least 3 (Gerrit, Bugzilla, and Gitblit) to one, Phabricator. The reasons for this are explained more fully in the reasoning for migrating code-review to Phabricator.
Relatedly, we gain more benefits from a single development platform when everyone (possible) uses it. This benefit can really not be understated. The mere fact of having everyone working in the same system allows us to benefit from:
- increased communication efficiency across all (involved) teams and individuals
- (corollary) decreased overhead of maintaining communication across multiple venues/mediums