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please put version timestamp inside .el files

From: Dan Jacobson
Subject: please put version timestamp inside .el files
Date: 08 May 2001 06:39:36 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

>>>>> "Eli" == Eli Zaretskii <eliz@is.elta.co.il> writes:

Eli> On 3 May 2001, Dan Jacobson wrote:

>> >> By the way, looking at
>> >> ;;; dabbrev.el --- dynamic abbreviation package
>> >> 
>> >> ;; Copyright (C) 1985, 86, 92, 94, 96, 1997 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
>> >> 
>> >> ;; Author: Don Morrison
>> >> ;; Maintainer: Lars Lindberg <Lars.Lindberg@sypro.cap.se>
>> >> ;; Created: 16 Mars 1992
>> >> ;; Lindberg's last update version: 5.7
>> >> 
>> >> one feels unsure about the date of last change.
Eli> The last year in the Copyright line tells that.  If you want a more
Eli> accurate idea, look in the lisp/ChangeLog file.
>> Seems kind of bug prone from a software maintenance standpoint.

Eli> The Emacs maintenance is not based on any of these.  We use CVS, so
Eli> whenever we want to know who changed a file and when, we do a simple
Eli> "cvs log".

But can the average end user also do "cvs log"?  If not, please
include the datafile or whatever is needed to enable him to do
so... Or better yet, can you enable a cvs option to print timestamps
inside the *.el files ... 

>> Ok, if the
>> changelog says on Thu May  3 03:41:39 CST 2001 Bob "Improved the
>> search function retracker sequence to not xxx on situation yyy", I
>> would still need 1/2 hour to analyze which of two similar search.el
>> files is the one with the improvement unless the appropriate comments
>> have been added to clue me in.

Eli> This situation shouldn't happen with packages bundled with Emacs.  All
Eli> you need is to compare Emacs versions: the later one holds the
Eli> ``improved'' version of any particular .el file.

as many users are using various emacs.rpm and emacs-el.rpm
distributions, it's very easy to be unsure about what .el and .elc's
one is using.  With a simple timestamp in the file, we can avoid a lot
of false bug reporting.

Eli> With packages that aren't bundled, it is up to the package maintainer
Eli> to include version information to help you with these decisions.

They are bundled, but then get rebundled, e.g., .elc's in Mandrake's
7.2 basic rpm, .el's in a extra rpm, and then there's xemacs's rpms,
etc. etc. very easy for the Mandrake, Redhat, etc. and/or the user to
make a mess and not be sure of the date of a .el or .elc, so I hope
you will share this information with the end user right there in the
file where it hopefully is least likely to get separated...

>> So I vote for version control stings
>> right in the file, which I hear is what you will do in emacs 21 I hope.

Eli> No, Emacs 21 doesn't change this in any way.

By the way, sometime the confusion is so bad that one isn't even sure
a .elc is really from a certain .el ... but I don't suppose the .elc's
could be timestamped too...
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