Restarting SWAT

Richard Purdie

Hi All!

Welcome, and thanks for agreeing to help out with the project's "SWAT"

I appreciate we have some people who've never done this before which is
great, its also great to see familiar names on the list!

We've setup this mailing list so that we can communicate with the SWAT
members easily and ensure everyone sees information related to the

The overall idea with this process is to spread the load of triaging
the changes/testing that the project processes through the autobuilder
amongst a team of people. This is critically important to the project
as the flow of patches is important but so is maintaining our quality,
we need to do both.

Triaging the autobuilder day in, day out can be a pain when done alone
but when spread amongst a team each taking a turn once every few months
for a week, it becomes much more manageable. It also means people can
have an opportunity to interact with the community, see what is going
on in the project and become more familiar with our submission and
importantly, our testing processes. We're also keen to try and reduce
the "bus factor" around me by having processes which don't need me to

As some know, we have run this process before. Our plan is not to do
exactly what we did previously but to try and adapt the process to what
makes most sense. Where we can have tools to help us, we aim to do so
and if needed we want to improve/develop them.

Our canonical definition is maintained on this wiki page:

The process to follow is listed there. We have recently updated
BuildLog so that it only sees failing perf builds rather than all the
successful ones to reduce noise. We've also made the page autorotate to
stop it growing to an unmanageable size. We will update the process
there as we improve and better document things (I have already made

We're keen to restart this process, hopefully as soon as next week. I
had hoped to send out this email sooner but its taken us a while to get
all the members email addresses from the member companies.

To start with I'm hoping some of the "old hands" who've done this
before might like to volunteer to go first? Armin and Ross have kindly
volunteered to help mentor people new to the process and to help
oversee the first runs through the process and help get things moving.

In due course we do plan to optionally extend the role of SWAT for
people who are interested and want to engage with the community, where
instead of just triaging the failures, they would also collect up,
queue and trigger tests for the patches too. For some this makes the
work easier as they have already seen the patches under tests so can
better visualise where failures have come from. This would only be for
people who want to try that and have the experience interacting with
the community and performing some basic review.

We do have a position for a "build and integration" engineer for which
there was an open RFQ. We're in the process of appointing some people
to work in that role and in due course, our intention is that they will
help with queuing patches where needed and ensuring people are
performing the SWAT role consistently.

I'd like to request people start adding their names under the Members
heading on the wiki page, we'll then start iterating through the list.
Our plan is to post onto the list as we update the process and to
evolve things as we gain experience of what works and what can be

If anyone would like to volunteer to start this next week, that would
be great although I appreciate its short notice.

We are actively looking to collect feedback and improve the process so
please do talk to Ross, Armin and myself as appropriate if there are
suggestions/feedback etc.



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