Replacing the *-commits mailing lists


As part of turning down the mailing lists, we’re trying to remove the last remaining lists and provide replacements, which at this point is mostly *-commits (plus llvm-bugs which we’ll deal with separately).

I’d like to understand what sorts of use cases people have that aren’t easily replicated by Phab’s herald rules and projects. For example, clicking “Watch Project” at Login should roughly replicate subscribing to llvm-commits. For more custom queries you can create your own personal rules at ☿ Query: Active (User Guide). The emails are from and should have the same content as what was being sent on the *-commits lists (since Phab was sending the email to the *-commits lists).

One issue which has been brought up is that previously you could use the mailing list email as a way to filter. Phabricator provides the X-Phabricator-Stamps email header to be able to check the author/reviewers/projects/etc associated with a revision. However, some email clients like GMail don’t support searching email headers, so Phabricator has a way to emit the same content into the email body. This is off by default and I believe it has to be turned on globally to take effect. Are there any objections to turning this on globally?

List of all active projects you can watch: Query: Active

If I’ve missed adding any projects or any of the queries to add projects to revisions are wrong let me know.

Is there anything I’m missing?

(also if there’s any way to make this more visible while still being in the correct category let me know)

If the above covers commits that land without pre-commit review, then please elaborate on what “Watch Project” does. I find the “commits” messages are good at highlighting when something actually lands (whereas the Phabricator thread might just indicate new comments).

Having a thread already available is helpful for posting about build breaks as well.

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I think my question is similar to reinterpretcast’s above: will “Watch Project” send emails for all commits, not just code reviews on Phabricator? I rely on the commits lists to see what lands and being able to full-text search through it in gmail.


I receive an email for every commit from Phabricator, but I haven’t tried “Watch project”, instead Herald allows to customize the notification both on reviews and commits: Login

I’ve added rules to apply projects to the relevant commits. Watching the project should cause you to get emails on those commits.

However, looking at some of the emails I’m receiving, it doesn’t look like it’s sending the diff. Investigating that.

I subscribe to llvm-commits and cfe-commits in order to get a feel for what is going on project-wide. I think the proposal will make that a whole lot more difficult. I actually read only about 1% of the traffic; but I do look at all the subject lines, and on a number of occasions when someone on my team had a question, I’ve been able to say “oh yeah there was something about that on the list a while back…”

Herald rules help people who are particularly interested in areas of the project that are readily identifiable by directory or filename(s), and want to be notified about activity in those places. But that’s different from asserting they aren’t interested in anything else!

And, not all topic areas are readily identifiable that way. For example, debug info can pop up its pointy little head pretty much anywhere. Sure, there’s a DebugInfo library, but that’s just the reader! Debug info hassles can come up in essentially any optimization pass, have weird codegen implications, pop up in target-specific stuff… It infests everything.

So, I would be very sad to see the commits lists go away.


Could you explain how this would make that more difficult? What is about watching the LLVM and Clang projects in Phabricator that doesn’t do what you want it to do? I was hoping that they’d be roughly equivalent to subscribing to the mailing lists.

Can this wait until after we’ve reached a conclusion about whether we’re going to continue using Phabricator (RFC: Code Review Process)? Making everybody mess with their subscriptions and email filters right now seems pointless if you’re going to break them again in a few months.


That’s fair, I can definitely wait for a decision on that.

Watching the projects in Phab presumably gets me all the review emails, which substitutes for having Phab auto-subscribe llvm-commits and cfe-commits.
But, those lists also get all the commit emails from github, and if you turn those off I’m not sure what the substitute is. A substantial number of commits don’t go through Phab first, and I am interested in many of them.

Phabricator has a view of the repo (e.g. rGc975668ffc30). I imagine, but have not checked, that it might be possible to somehow get auto-subscribed to these rG... pages, much like you can get auto-subscribed to D..... links, perhaps via a Herald rule? I’ve not dug into it really though.

I think one nuance that is lost, which would make a difference for me, is (presumably) that if I watch a project in Phab, and thus get all the mails relating to it, I get all those mails with myself as CC/TO in the mail. This loses the current distinction between “bulk notifications for everything that’s going in” (which I browse and skim looking for things that seem interesting to me) and “notifications for reviews where I’m explicitly tagged as reviewer or subscriber”. Since my mail client visually distinguishes between mails where I’m an explicit recipient in the CC/TO lists and other mails, this works nicely for me, but if I’d have to manually subscribe to everything I want to browse/skim/search, the distinction is lost.

FWIW the same distinction is lost now already when I follow disussions here on Discourse via mail too, compared to the earlier mail flow on the -dev lists.

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In gmail, I would manually star the commits/reviews/conversations of special interest, and not delete them from my -dev folder. Not aware of any way to get that behavior in a web client.

You can bookmark conversations in Discourse. Would that solve the problem?

Would that somehow distinguish the notification mails from the bookmarked conversations from the regular ones from all other conversaions?

I was mainly replying to the comment about adding stars in gmail.

You probably missed my previous message: Herald allows you to monitor every commits in the repo and not just differential revisions.

Which works as long as we keep Phab running…

Bookmarks are visually pretty subtle, and searching for them is unobvious (click on your profile pic and choose the tab that has the right icon). But it’s something, anyway!

I believe that turning on stamps in the mail body as mentioned in the original post would help. You can then filter if your username appears in the mail contents.

Speaking of, second call, any objections to turning it on? I’ll turn it on globally at the end of the week if nobody objects. If people find it annoying we can turn it back off.