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Re: Use of "Action stamps" in commit messages

From: Noam Postavsky
Subject: Re: Use of "Action stamps" in commit messages
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 22:45:47 -0400

On 13 July 2018 at 14:15, Eric S. Raymond <address@hidden> wrote:

> If you're going to do this, please at least have mercy on future translators
> and use a strict RFC3339 date format the way action stamps do.
> I'm against this change because I think in the long term.  Someday Emacs
> will change VCSes again.  On the day, whoever is charged with the move is
> going to curse the perpetrators if he has to deal with a semi-infinite number
> of variant ways of pasting together the data and commit parts of your
> proposed IDs.

I think this thread has somewhat wondered away from what I was
proposing. Currently CONTRIBUTE recommends two ways to refer to
another commit in a commit message:

1. Quoting the summary line.
2. Action stamp

I want to change to just the first:

1. Quoting the summary line

And possibly suggest adding the date before the summary line, as
having a vague idea of how long ago a change was can be helpful. This
is VCS agnostic, so there should be no need for any manipulation when
we move VCS.

> I know of two efforts underway to make cgit and git itself aware of the
> action-stamp format. Have patience.  Soon enough you'll be able to treat
> action stampts as hotlinks that your software will chase for you.

I guess that might be nice, but really, usually having the summary
line gives enough info that I don't even need to chase anything down.
So I consider this better than both hash ids and action stamps. And if
I really do need to look at the referenced commit, then git log --grep
already works. And I think we can safely assume that any other VCS
will support searching for a string in the commit logs, unlike
action-stamp support, which may or may not be supported for any given

The action-stamp format is great for the reposurgeon software, but
commit messages are for humans.

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