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Re: Use of "Action stamps" in commit messages

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: Re: Use of "Action stamps" in commit messages
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:15:20 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.9.4 (2018-02-28)

Paul Eggert <address@hidden>:
> Eric Raymond designed that format, partly to be robust in the presence
> of VC backend changes. I'll send this message to him directly, to give
> him a heads-up, as this has been a long thread that he's likely tuned
> out of.
> On 07/13/2018 04:13 AM, Noam Postavsky wrote:
> > .On 12 July 2018 at 11:34, Basil L. Contovounesios <address@hidden> wrote:
> >
> >> from CONTRIBUTE:
> >>
> >>   One way to identify revisions is by quoting their summary line.
> >>   Another is with an action stamp - an RFC3339 date followed by !
> >>   followed by the committer's email - for example,
> >>   "2014-01-16T05:43:address@hidden".
> > This reminds that I'd like to remove this "Action stamp" thing as
> > commit message convention. Action stamps are fine for what they were
> > designed for: acting as a unique commit id for the repository
> > conversion software "reposurgeon", but they are not very friendly to
> > human readers.
> >
> > A date followed by the summary line is sufficient to identify a commit
> > in a vc system agnostic way, reads nicer, and gives more info up front
> > to a human.
> >
> > See also Bug#20609.
> >
> > https://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=20609

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 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.
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

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