commit IDs in changelog messsages (was: Introductory mail)

Stefano Zacchiroli zack at
Thu Nov 13 11:41:33 UTC 2008

On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 11:22:56AM +0100, martin f krafft wrote:
> But instead of one parser, I'd really rather think of it as a number
> of parsers, each getting a chance. So Closes would be handled by the
> dak-bts parser, and Git: by a git parser, SVN: by an SVN parser,
> etc.

Consider the following two snippets of changelog entry metadata (which
I think is what we are aiming to generalize):

1)	(Closes: #1234567, git: fba134)
2)	(Closes: #1234567, Commit: git:fba134)

I do agree that no matter what, if you are not git-aware, the git
commit numbers is useless for you. That can't be otherwise.

Still, even if you are not git-aware, in snippet (2) you can recognize
that "git:fba134" is a commit identifier. You don't know what to do
with that, but at least you know that it is.  On the contrary, in
snippet (1) you aren't even able to understand that it is a commit

So, for instance, you can't do "neutral" stuff like passing it to some
other applications which comes after you in a processing pipeline
which *might* be git-aware themselves.

A real-life use case is dpkg-parsechangelog. With snippet (2) it can
output a commit identifier and tell to the world that the VCS in use
is "git", even if dpkg-parsechangelog is not git-aware itself. With
snippet (1) the only possibility is to add to dpkg-parsechangelog the
list of recognized VCS tags.

It is well possible that this fuss is excessive, as it introduces a
more cumbersome syntax we do not tolerate for a relative minor
gain. Still, the right(tm) design seems to be (2). Maybe it is just
not worth. YMMV.


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{,,} -<>-
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime
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