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Cantor migrating to Phabricator: which tools our contributors must to use

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Projects and software developed by KDE community are going to migrate for a new tool to manage our code, commits, reviews, tasks, and more. This tool is Phabricator and you can visit the instance for KDE projects in this address.

Since November 2015 we are migrating Cantor to Phabricator. After our first successful review code some days ago, I decided to write a post about which tools our contributors must to use while the migration process is not finished.


Phabricator has an app to project management where we can to put some useful information and make coordination of tasks. The page for Cantor project is online and configured.

Other interesting feature is the possibility to join in a project or watch the activities of a project. If you have a KDE Identity, login in KDE Phabricator and follow us!


KDE provides an application to manage tasks using a kanban board, the KDE TODO. Despite it is a nice tool, we never used that.

Projects app in Phabricator has an application to this same objective, Workboard. We are using it currently to track tasks of SoK student Fernando Telles. I intent to use it to manage the development of Cantor for each new release.

Tasks, bugs, wishes

The Phabricator app named Maniphest is the tool to create and track bugs, tasks and wishes (feature requests).

But in KDE we have a heavily customized Bugzilla, so for the moment there is not a decision about how to migrate our bugs reports tool.

Therefore, KDE Bugzilla is our bugs reports tool yet. However, I invite the contributors to use Maniphest to submit wishes of new features. We never used Bugzilla for this last objective, so there is no problem if we begin to use the new tool for it.


Like the most of KDE Projects, Cantor has their source code managed by git. Phabricator has an application named Diffusion to navigate and see a lot of data about a source code repository.

This application is configured for Cantor and it is available in this link.

Code review

The Phabricator app to code review is called Differential and it is available to Cantor as well.

However, there is not a decision about the migration and the shutdown of the current code review tool used by KDE, Reviewboard. Therefore our contributors can to use one or other tool (please, not both together!), but I strongly recommend to use Differential.


Yes, Phabricator has an own application to wiki pages, named Phriction. Currently Cantor has a wiki page just in Userbase. We are not using wiki pages at the moment, so we will decide if Phriction will be our tool for wikis just at some point in the future.


Ok, Phabricator also has a tool for communication, Conpherence. However, Cantor contributors can continue to use our current communication tools provide by KDE Edu, the #kde-edu IRC channel at Freenode network and the KDE Edu mail list.

Despite I have some criticism about Phabricator (for instance, I don’t like the Application -> Project architecture; I prefer Project -> Application), it is a very nice tool for projects management and it has a lot of applications for specific tasks. In this text I listed several of them, but there are many others to be explored and evaluated.

I hope this post can help Cantor contributors about which tool must to be utilized for some task of the project. Maybe the text can to present some news to future Phabricator users and help KDE developers in the path of the migration.

The impact of Phabricator in KDE community is something to be analyzed in the future. This tool has a lot of applications and it can change the way how the KDE subprojects are organized. Let’s see what the future will say for us.

Written by Filipe Saraiva

February 6th, 2016 at 7:28 pm

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