The future of commit access policy for core Firefox

Eric Rescorla ekr at
Sat Mar 11 03:33:15 UTC 2017

On Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 7:23 PM, smaug via governance <
governance at> wrote:

> On 03/10/2017 12:59 AM, Bobby Holley wrote:
>> At a high level, I think the goals here are good.
>> However, the tooling here needs to be top-notch for this to work, and the
>> standard approach of flipping on an MVP and dealing with the rest in
>> followup bugs isn't going to be acceptable for something so critical to
>> our
>> productivity as landing code. The only reason more developers aren't
>> complaining about the MozReview+autoland workflow right now is that it's
>> optional.
>> The busiest and most-productive developers (ehsan, bz, dbaron, etc) tend
>> not to pay attention to new workflows because they have too much else on
>> their plate. The onus needs to be on the team deploying this to have the
>> highest-volume committers using the new system happily and voluntarily
>> before it becomes mandatory. That probably means that the team should not
>> have any deadline-oriented incentives to ship it before it's ready.
>> Also, getting rid of "r+ with comments" is a non-starter.
> FWIW, with my reviewer hat on, I think that is not true, _assuming_ there
> is a reliable interdiff for patches.
> And not only MozReview patches but for all the patches. (and MozReview
> interdiff isn't reliable, it has dataloss issues so it
> doesn't really count there.).
> I'd be ok to do a quick r+ if interdiff was working well.

Without taking a position on the broader proposal, I agree with this.

We have been using Phabricator for our reviews in NSS and its interdiffs
work pretty well
(modulo rebases, which are not so great), and it's very easy to handle LGTM
nits and verify the nits.


> -Olli
>> bholley
>> On Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 1:53 PM, Mike Connor <mconnor at> wrote:
>> (please direct followups to dev-planning, cross-posting to governance,
>>> firefox-dev, dev-platform)
>>> Nearly 19 years after the creation of the Mozilla Project, commit access
>>> remains essentially the same as it has always been.  We've evolved the
>>> vouching process a number of times, CVS has long since been replaced by
>>> Mercurial & others, and we've taken some positive steps in terms of
>>> securing the commit process.  And yet we've never touched the core idea
>>> of
>>> granting developers direct commit access to our most important
>>> repositories.  After a large number of discussions since taking ownership
>>> over commit policy, I believe it is time for Mozilla to change that
>>> practice.
>>> Before I get into the meat of the current proposal, I would like to
>>> outline
>>> a set of key goals for any change we make.  These goals have been
>>> informed
>>> by a set of stakeholders from across the project including the
>>> engineering,
>>> security, release and QA teams.  It's inevitable that any significant
>>> change will disrupt longstanding workflows.  As a result, it is critical
>>> that we are all aligned on the goals of the change.
>>> I've identified the following goals as critical for a responsible commit
>>> access policy:
>>>     - Compromising a single individual's credentials must not be
>>> sufficient
>>>     to land malicious code into our products.
>>>     - Two-factor auth must be a requirement for all users approving or
>>>     pushing a change.
>>>     - The change that gets pushed must be the same change that was
>>> approved.
>>>     - Broken commits must be rejected automatically as a part of the
>>> commit
>>>     process.
>>> In order to achieve these goals, I propose that we commit to making the
>>> following changes to all Firefox product repositories:
>>>     - Direct commit access to repositories will be strictly limited to
>>>     sheriffs and a subset of release engineering.
>>>        - Any direct commits by these individuals will be limited to
>>> fixing
>>>        bustage that automation misses and handling branch merges.
>>>     - All other changes will go through an autoland-based workflow.
>>>        - Developers commit to a staging repository, with scripting that
>>>        connects the changeset to a Bugzilla attachment, and integrates
>>> with review
>>>        flags.
>>>        - Reviewers and any other approvers interact with the changeset as
>>>        today (including ReviewBoard if preferred), with Bugzilla flags as
>>> the
>>>        canonical source of truth.
>>>        - Upon approval, the changeset will be pushed into autoland.
>>>        - If the push is successful, the change is merged to
>>> mozilla-central,
>>>        and the bug updated.
>>> I know this is a major change in practice from how we currently operate,
>>> and my ask is that we work together to understand the impact and
>>> concerns.
>>> If you find yourself disagreeing with the goals, let's have that
>>> discussion
>>> instead of arguing about the solution.  If you agree with the goals, but
>>> not the solution, I'd love to hear alternative ideas for how we can
>>> achieve
>>> the outcomes outlined above.
>>> -- Mike
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> dev-planning mailing list
>>> dev-planning at
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