The goal of Project Skara is to investigate alternative SCM and code review options for the JDK source code, including options based upon Git rather than Mercurial, and including options hosted by third parties.
The technical parts of project Skara includes several server-side tools (also called "bots") aiding contributors during code reviews. The Skara technical tooling also includes several command-line utilities for interacting with Git source code hosting providers from the command-line.
Using an external Git source code hosting provider comes with several benefits, including:
Many, if not all, external Git source code hosting services available have excellent performance, not only with regards to network performance but also when it comes to availability (uptime). The largest Git source code hosting providers also offer the OpenJDK community to tap into large, existing, communities of developers and potential contributors. An additional benefit of using an external Git source code hosting provider is getting access to an API. These APIs enables programs to interact with developers on the external Git source code hosting provider. Although not impossible to achieve today by interacting with developers over email, it is considerably harder to implement programs that interpret free form text in emails compared to using a structured API.
A significant risk when using an external source code hosting provider is to become dependent on the external source code hosting provider. The version control data itself will always be independent of source code hosting provider due to distributed architecture of Git itself. However there is a large risk in metadata such as code review comments becoming "locked in" on a particular external source code hosting provider. Mitigating this risk is a large part of Project Skara and the following work have been done so far: