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Re: Please don't use revision numbers on commit messages (and elsewhere)

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Please don't use revision numbers on commit messages (and elsewhere).
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2011 11:20:19 +0900

Uday S Reddy writes:

 > the problem with such a note is that it says precious little unless
 > you go and find the revision XXXX.

I don't think Óscar meant that as an example of log style.  He was
focusing on the the issue of following the reference to a revision.

 > Those of us that write technical articles have been taught to use
 > the convention that the text should stand on its own without having
 > to follow the cross-references to understand what it is saying.

Sorry, but you're misrepresenting the convention you cite.  Editors of
technical articles require both well-written notes and bibliographies
"for those proofs that won't fit in this narrow margin."  Similarly,
the revision log should describe the semantics of the change, while
the diff against the revision gives its syntax.

Therefore, a commit log message should both describe the change made,
and provide a machine-friendly cross-reference (machine-friendly
because this is Emacs; we may expect that the developers will have
machine assistance in following cross-references).  I think there are
more important things for the people who will be writing the log
browser to do than catch the edge cases that your algorithm doesn't
handle, since the browser mode doesn't exist yet.  OTOH,
change-log-mode does exist; adding something to find and insert
unambiguous revision identifiers from any revision specification seems
to be more in scope.


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