I get interesting feedback on @hackernews after my call for help:

Just wondering: do you know anyone who came to email-based git interactions, coming from Git(Hub|Lab) PR/MR?

PS: I appreciate the way is trying to revive email-driven git workflows.

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@bzg I think many #GNU #Guix contributors come from the “merge request” model (Guix uses patches by email and Debbugs, topped with a cute web interface: <>). Perhaps a bit of a barrier to entry, but apparently not insurmountable.

@civodul Mumi is great! Let's see how Woof! behaves.

(Does the sentence above sound a bit weird?)

Woof! is the tool for tracking changes, bugs, help requests from Org's mailing list:

@bzg Woof! looks nice too! It’s purely an email interface, right (no Debbugs)?

PS: The sentence did sound weird. :-)

@civodul Yes, Woof! is entirely about extracting more value from email interactions, while not interfering at all with usual discussions.

I don't dislike debbugs, but I find it has the problem that all issue trackers have: to them, everything is "an issue".

When says "bug", someone actively confirmed this.

@bzg as someone who's fairly familiar with email workflow, I think I prefer the "repo forge" approach. Both git{hub,lab} can be set up to mail new comments to you, and email replies work seamlessly, and also merging PRs via command line.

All discussions happening around tickets and everything being linked together means references are easy to follow, and stuff is easier to find in general. The advantages of email are far outweighed by the advantages of something like a private gitlab instance.

@bzg One sad thing is I've searched a bit and you can't easily find a document that can get you up and running with a proper MUA and also teaches how to participate in an email based model.

People are more familiar with the Github and the like because if you're running some small indie projects maintaining a mailing list, vcs server, website, wiki, and issue tracker is too big a hassle. So you either just publish tarballs or go with these forges.

@cadadr Thanks for the feedback.

The missing guide is a good point.

I think is doing a good job at providing mailing lists along with a model where emails and PRs live happily together.

@bzg You're welcome!

It's an interesting model. A couple days ago I recommended it over at emacs devel that folks take a look at it, and they seemed to be interested in it.

@bzg More precisely, I recommended they use the software, not the SaaS. FWIW.

@bzg I just started doing that, precisely for org-mode and Emacs itself. I...don't love it, to be honest -- I find myself much more stressed about doing something wrong & it definitely raises the barrier for me sending little patches in

@jamesnvc Thanks for sharing your experience. If you "just started", no doubt your workflow will improve over time, right? Also, don't be afraid to make mistakes in your patches, Org's community is very welcoming.

@bzg Yeah, my workflow will undoubtedly improve. I like being able to stay in Emacs for more of the work and I do appreciate not having to use a centralized system like Github.
I appreciate the reassurance! As you say, I think I just need to get more used to the workflow...right now, I'm just worried I'm forgetting a CC or sending to the wrong place, plus not being able to edit if I did something wrong.

@jamesnvc @bzg I'm not a contributor, but aren't there 'M-x mail' templates for different modes of the workflow? If a contributor is in Emacs, a structured interface to composing a "bug" report should be reachable.

@bzg Relatedly, I just tried to send patches to two bugs from the Org bug tracker thing & I think I did it wrong -- I don't see either in the mailing list. Someday I'll figure this out 😆

@jamesnvc If you did not subscribe to the mailing list, your emails will wait until someone validates them.

If you are subscribed, you should be fine - if something does not get through while it should, please send me an email at

@bzg Ah okay, thanks! I'm not subscribed -- I just read the list through gnus -- so I guess that'd be it. Thanks!

@bzg (although I think I did mangle the in-reply-to header...I might try re-sending, with an added apology to the recipients)

@bzg I just started with email-based workflow and it's not *that* bad. I actually prefer it to forges now.

Woof! looks great, the problem with ML is that it's hard to find what to work on.


Interesting, thanks.

I think we can work towards making email-based Git workflow more inclusive and accessible, but that does not mean migrating to GitHub is the solution.

See what happens with all the "Dear GitHub" letters? Barely nothing.

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