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State of the repository conversion

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: State of the repository conversion
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:51:24 -0400 (EDT)

I have a complete lift script.  It satisfies all the requests that I
have received for attic-file fixups, name canonicalization,
preservation of fixes-bugs information, and the like.

I meant to push a test copy to Gitorious this weekend, but life - and
the fact that the cleanup runs take about eight hours each -
intervened.  I have a cleanup running now which may produce a
result I am ready to push around 6PM EST.

I have made almost all requested updates to the Emacs wiki.  There
are two exceptions.

>From Eli Zaretskii:

     . I would suggest describing the setup of git-merge-changelog,
       because as long as we keep ChangeLog files in the repository,
       people might bump into conflicts in the logs, and it would be nice
       to avoid that.

If this is really important to have on the Emacs wiki, someone else will have
to do it. Search engines don't turn up documentation on the tool and I
don't have direct experience with it.

     . I think we should discuss some more how to work with the
       development trunk and the release branch in parallel, and reflect
       the results of the discussion in the Wiki.

       The issue here is that the release branch and the trunk diverge
       very quickly after the branch point, and the result is that after
       you checkout the other branch, you generally need a very long
       build, many times a full bootstrap.  While on a modern system, a
       full bootstrap should take a few minutes, it is still annoyingly
       long, and makes higher the risk of losing the race against other
       committers.  In addition, you only have a single executable at any
       given time, so comparison of behavior between the two branches is

       So perhaps we should find a way of having two separate branches,
       such that switching between them does not require a build if
       nothing changed.

This is not a documentation request, it's a research agenda.  I can't
write up a technique that doesn't exist yet.

The only other major pre-conversion to-do left on my list is "Better
cross-VCS integration of smerge in vc.el", and we have Rüdiger
Sonderfeld's patch for that.  It can be merged as soon as trunk is

The lift script and conversion machinery continue to be available
fotr review at


Getting to this point required two full months of work, including
several major feature additions to reposurgeon.  I will be rather
surprised if I ever see another conversion as complex as this one.
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is
a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
        -- Benjamin Franklin

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