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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 18:38:03 -0500

    What you propose is implemented by the following commands:

      git branch -f branch1\' branch2
      # branch1' is now same as branch2
      git rebase --onto branch3 branch1 branch1\'
      # now branch1' is branch3 plus changes in branch2..branch1 

I am glad the operation exists.

However, the full operation I have in mind allows multiple
substitutions.  The example I stated before uses just one, which I
could describe as replacing c2 with x.  However, there are multiple
blobs that were first inserted at different times, and we need to deal
with all of them.

Maybe a series of rebase operations could handle them one by one, For
efficiency, one would want to avoid rebasing any given revision more
than once.  Can you specify, in rebase, "Stop with revision A; don't
process its children"?  With that, the job could be done.  Specify,
for A, the revision before the next insertion of another blob.

So you have Torvalds' revisions as follows

   a <- b <- c <- d <- e <- f <- g

and suppose blobs were inserted in b and f.  So you make x which
replaces b but doesn't insert the blob.  Then you rebase c...e onto x
(giving c' ... e').  Then you edit f to make y, whose parent is e' and
which doesn't insert the f blob.  Then you rebase g onto y to make g'.

This could handle any number of blobs, sequentially.  And if you have
a script to remove each blob, a master script could run automatically
to convert the repository, and it would only have to process each
revision once.

What's more, any new revisions from Torvalds' repository can be
converted very fast (assuming they don't add new blobs) by rebasing

In addition, revisions in our repository can be converted the same
way.  Just remember the last pair of revisions where a blob was
deleted.  Suppose it is m <> z.  You can take our revisions, based on
z, and rebase them into m in a copy of Torvalds' repository.  Then you
can upload those to his real repository.

Is the whole problem solved?

Will we get addicted to rebase?

Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110

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