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Re: [groff] I hate git-version-gen

From: Bertrand Garrigues
Subject: Re: [groff] I hate git-version-gen
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 01:01:26 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi Ingo,

On Thu, Mar 15 2018 at 08:34:00 PM, Ingo Schwarze <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hi,
> git-version-gen is a very serious nuisance.  It efficiently prevents
> any kind of reliable testing.  It creates totally ridiculous version
> strings like "1.22.3.rc1.40-1327" which then get scattered all over
> the place, up to and including absurd directory names like
>   .../share/groff/1.22.3.rc1.40-1327/font/...
> but that crap really invades *many* places.  That way, it is basically
> impossible to do any serious testing not only because such nonsense
> causes any packaging system to blow up, but also because all the
> testing gets completely invalidated once we go back to a sane version
> name like 1.22.4.  Because who knows whether files are still in the
> right places, modules can still communicate properly, and modules
> can still handle the radically changing version string?  And no,
> invalidating all previous testing is not what you want to do as
> shortly as possible before release.

Sorry to hear that you were annoyed by that.  I thought that having a
unique directory name in .../share/groff/ would not be a problem and
could help for example to detect a build regression where a file is no
longer installed (if for example you forgot to uninstall and have some
files from a previous build that are still there), but I understand that
it can make the comparison of 2 builds harder.

> Can't we just get rid of that bloat, statically set the version string
> to 1.22.4 right now, and have the benefit of being able to start with
> real testing?  Even if a number of commits may still go in, the risk
> that they break something - almost certainly locally - is much smaller
> than the risk that the complicated version-gen machinery, which has
> tentacles almost everywhere, causes or hides fundamental issues,
> which will then fully impact the final release, and that only.

While I understand the problem of the install directory in
.../share/groff (we could easily change that by extracting the first 3
numbers to build the directory name), what's the problem with having the
various programs printing a unique version (for example with 'groff
--version')?  Does this bring extra testing difficulties?  Having a
unique version seems better when people report a bug (otherwise they
would just say "I'm using 1.22.3" or "I'm using groff from git").


Bertrand Garrigues

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