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More metaproblem

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: More metaproblem
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 16:14:47 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>:
> > On 12/03/2014 11:27 AM, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> > > You want it even when the ChangeLog part is a trivial
> > > repetition of the summary line?
> > 
> > It's not needed for one-liners.
> I agree.
> > For commit 
> > e820f16c06a5a6be4bc87910b349c7c3c6eca0f4, for example, your ChangeLog 
> > entry was "* files.el (file-tree-walk): Lisp translation of ANSI 
> > ftw(3).", and that one-liner should have been the git commit message, too.
> Yes, but please lose the "*" part, it just wastes precious real estate.
> >      In vc, abolish the dir-status method.
> > 
> >      *  vc.el, all backends: API simplification: Abolish dir-status.
> >      It's replaced by dir-status-files.
> Likewise here: no need to keep the asterisks.

I realize you both mean well, but have you actually thought about the
effect of adding more edge cases to commenting rules that are already
rather fussy?  (And undocumented.)

The overhead from all these picky requirements adds to big ones like
"you must execute a copyright assignment" in ways I don't think people
here understand. What looks reasonable and easy to you, from long
practice, is a wilderness of brambles to outsiders.

Once I've finished cleaning up and extending VC mode I'm going to
clean out the dusty attic in /etc (RMS and I discussed this and
basically agreed on a plan about 11 month ago).  If you don't see how
that's relevant, stop and think until you get it.

For Emacs to attract new developers, its code and the culture need to
be discoverable.  As part of this, practice rules need to be *clear*,
*documented*, and *minimal*.  Right now they fail all three tests.
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

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