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Re: Can we find a better idiom for unversioned packages?

From: Xinglu Chen
Subject: Re: Can we find a better idiom for unversioned packages?
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2021 18:11:46 +0200

On Thu, Sep 02 2021, Leo Famulari wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 02, 2021 at 12:51:58PM -0400, Leo Famulari wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 01, 2021 at 06:50:36PM +0200, Xinglu Chen wrote:
>> > > Commit dates don't have a consistent meaning: are they the time of
>> > > first revision of a commit? Final revision of a commit? Time of
>> > > signing? Pushing? They are often useful to estimate a timeline, but
>> > > it's common for a Git "timeline" to jump back and forth by months or a
>> > > year due to long-running development branches being merged in, or due
>> > > to a "commit and then polish by rebasing" workflow.
>> > 
>> > I would say the the time of the final commit would be the best option,
>> > but I agree that it can be ambiguous.
> Reading your message again, I think you misunderstood what I wrote.
> I wasn't asking what date we should choose to include in our package
> versions. I was asking, "What does the Git commit timestamp describe?"
> And the answer is that there is not a clear answer, and it depends on
> the workflow of the person who made the Git commit. My point being that
> a Git repo does not offer us meaningful information about when anything
> happened.

The date does give an idea of how old the version is, compare that to a
random string of 7 characters.  If a user wants to know the exact
commit, they can always just run ‘guix edit PACKAGE’ and check the
‘commit’ field in the source of the package.

From a Guix developer’s perspective, one can get an idea of roughly how
old a package is when looking at the package definition.  E.g., a few
months ago, when Magit hadn’t a release for around 2 years or so, I
wanted to see how old our current ‘emacs-magit’ package was.  To do that
I had to ‘guix edit emacs-magit’, then find the commit-id and copy it,
then go to my local checkout of Magit and run ‘git log COMMIT-ID’, just
to see how old the version was.  If the date of the commit was encoded
in the version string, I would immediately see that its 6 months old or
something; no need to manually look up the commit-id.

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