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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] --forward mostly harmless

From: Matthew Dempsky
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] --forward mostly harmless
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 23:47:13 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Tom Lord <address@hidden> writes:

> Patch is handy but is not, strictly speaking, what arch needs to be
> good.   Patch(1) *compatability* for exact patching --- *that* is
> something to never let go of if it can be helped.

Exactly.  The only behavior of patch we *absolutely must depend on* is
for constructing revisions and for calculating the changes between the
current tree and the previous revision.  All of the other uses
(inexact patching, merging, etc.) are just special features that patch
*happens* to be simultaneously useful for.

For anything other than exact patching, we could use just about any
other utility that provided "useful" results.  (For example, without
changing the archive format at all, we could add in xml or other
language specific merging operations.)

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