Phabricator is a suite of web-based software development collaboration tools, including the Differential code review tool, the Diffusion repository browser, the Herald change monitoring tool, the Maniphest bug tracker and the Phriction wiki. Phabricator integrates with Git, Mercurial, and Subversion. It is available as free software under the Apache License, version 2.

Phabricator was originally developed as an internal tool at Facebook. Phabricator’s principal developer is Evan Priestley. Priestley left Facebook to continue Phabricator’s development in a new company called Phacility. Phabricator is a collection of web applications which help software companies build better software.

Phabricator includes applications for:

  • reviewing and auditing source code;
  • hosting and browsing repositories;
  • tracking bugs;
  • managing projects;
  • conversing with team members;
  • assembling a party to venture forth;
  • writing stuff down and reading it later;
  • hiding stuff from coworkers; and
  • also some other things.

You can learn more about the project (and find links to documentation and resources) at Phabricator.org

Phabricator is developed and maintained by Phacility.

Why use Phabricator?

Phabricator gives you a box of solid tools for a comparatively small setup cost. The tools all work together and are richly integrated. The whole thing is a free and open source. You own all your data. Phabricator is extremely fast and proven to scale both to large datasets (Facebook has 500,000+ commits across many repositories) and large organizations (Facebook has 500+ fulltime engineers). Phabricator’s tools are easy to learn, understand, and use.

However, Phabricator may also not be a good solution for you:

  • If you develop primarily on Windows, you are likely to find integration with the toolsets you use lacking.
  • If you don’t use SVN, Git or Mercurial, you’ll have to add support for your VCS before you can get anywhere.
  • If you loathe PHP, well, it’s written in PHP. Sorry. It is a victim of circumstances. We assert it is well-written PHP, at least.

Features

Pre-Commit Code Review

Review others’ code with Differential, because they can’t be trusted.

  • Shows code so you can look at it.
  • Leave helpful comments and anecdotes.
  • Challenge the intern’s test plan.
  • Gently place bad code back in the author’s queue.

Supports Git, Mercurial, and SVN

Host Git, Mercurial, and Subversion repositories with Diffusion, or connect an existing repository elsewhere.

  • Can host repositories locally.
  • Observe repositories hosted elsewhere.
  • Publish any repository to mirrors.
  • Proxy a repository for reading from another source.
  • Scale to multiple servers.

Audit Source Code

Phabricator supports post-commit auditing, either as a primary workflow or, when coupled with Herald, allows rule-based triggers to get an extra set of eyes on your code.

  • When used with pre-commit code review, provides additional coverage where it matters to you most.
  • If you can’t review, cover what you can with Audit.
  • Use Herald to trigger audits on whatever phase the moon is in.
  • Learn more about Review vs. Audit

Customizable Task Management

Plan features, track bugs, and award tokens. Maniphest lets you customize input forms, use custom fields, and has a rich API.

  • Keeps track of lots of bugs.
  • You can assign them to people.
  • Maybe you could fix them, eventually. (optional)
  • Build unique task forms for every department.

Write Things Down

You can write things down and revert them later with Phriction, which is a documentation wiki.

  • You can write text.
  • That text stays there.
  • You can read it later.
  • You can make text purple. Purple text resolves conflicts!

Work boards and Sprints

Use sophisticated drag and drop to make sure your project is properly micromanaged with Workboards.

  • Grab ahold of tasks, literally.
  • Place them in confusing, new orders.
  • Make a column just for interns!
  • Ignore the backlog forever.

Chat Channels

With Conference keeping up with where your team is having lunch is just a few clicks away.

  • Chat with coworkers
  • about work.
  • Like Slack, but nowhere as good.
  • Seriously, Slack is way better.
  • Join our chat sometime.

Business Rules

As your company scales, keep track of activity with Herald, which notifies you when things you care about happen (like a specific file being changed).

  • Write business rules.
  • Everyone loves business rules.
  • Keep an eye on suspicious new hires.
  • Warns you about plotting and scheming.
  • Build triggers on tasks, commits, revisions, and more.

Command Line Tools

The arcanist command line tool gives you CLI access to most of Phabricator’s functionality.

  • Runs lint and unit tests before code review.
  • Emits patches that usually auto-apply.
  • Runs on Linux, Mac OS X
  • Also “runs” on Windows.

API

The Conduit API allows you to write scripts that interact with Phabricator over an HTTP JSON API.

  • Is an interface.
  • For application programming.

Serious Tools

Phabricator applications are serious, heavy-duty tools that scale to organizations with tens of thousands of employees.

  • Infrastructure is serious, scalable and secure.
  • Performance is a priority.
  • High-Availability options available.
  • No special editions. Everything included, open and free.
  • Even has a serious business model, for the most serious businesses.

Actively Developed

Phabricator is under active development, and we’ve accepted patches from hundreds of unique contributors to date.

  • Most patches make it better.
  • Only some break it.
  • Written in PHP so literally anyone can contribute, even if they have no idea how to program.
  • Even babies and dogs can contribute (with supervision).
  • You, too, can contribute!

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