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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 0/1] checkpatch: checker for comment block

From: Markus Armbruster
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 0/1] checkpatch: checker for comment block
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2018 07:29:27 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Paolo Bonzini <address@hidden> writes:

> On 13/12/18 19:21, Peter Maydell wrote:
>> On Thu, 13 Dec 2018 at 18:07, Paolo Bonzini <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> On 13/12/18 19:01, Peter Maydell wrote:
>>>> I sent a patch to do this a little while back:
>>>>  https://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/10561557/
>>>> It didn't get applied because Paolo disagreed with having
>>>> our tools enforcing what our style guide says.
>>> I didn't disagree with that---I disagreed with having a single style in
>>> the style guide, because unlike most other blatant violations of the
>>> coding style (eg. braces), this one is pervasive in maintained code and
>>> I don't want code that I maintain to mix two comment styles.
>>> So I proposed two alternatives:
>>> - someone fixes all the comment blocks which are "starred" but don't
>>> have a lone "/*" at the beginning, and then we can commit that patch;
>>> - we allow "/* foo" on the first line, except for doc comments and for
>>> the first line of the file (author/license block), and fix the style
>>> guide accordingly.
>> We came to a consensus on the comment style when we discussed
>> the patch which updated CODING_STYLE. I'm not personally
>> a fan of the result (I used to use "/* foo"), but what we have in the
>> doc is what we achieved consensus for. I'm not going to reopen
>> the "what should block comments look like" style debate.
> Sure, I don't want to do that either.  I accept the result of the
> discussion; I don't accept introducing a new warning that will cause
> over 700 files to become inconsistent sooner or later.

By design, checkpatch.pl only checks *patches*.  Existing code doesn't
trigger warnings until it gets touched.  And then it should arguably be
made to conform to CODING_STYLE.  So, what's the problem again?  :)

>                                                         Therefore, the
> only way to enforce the result of the discussion is to change the
> existing comments,

I support cleaning up comment style wholesale[*].

>                    for example by having a script that maintainers can
> use to change the existing comments in their files.  Having each of us
> come up with their own script or doing it by hand is probably not a good
> use of everyone's time.

Sharing tools is good. 

> Alternatively, fixing the style guide can also mean "explain why /* foo
> is allowed by checkpatch even though it does not match the coding
> style", without rehashing the discussion.
> (BTW it may actually be a good idea to fix _some_ instances of bad
> coding style, in particular the space-tab sequences and the files where
> there are maybe 2 or 3 tabs that ended up there by mistake.  That's a
> different topic).

You've since posted patches for that.  Thanks.

>>>> Personally I think we should just commit my patch, and then
>>>> we can stop having people manually pointing out where
>>>> submitters' patches don't match CODING_STYLE.

Concur.  It has my R-by, modulo a commit message tweak.

[*] Same for other style violations.  Yes, it's churn, and yes, it'll
mess up git-blame some, but I'm convinced the presence of numerous bad
examples costs us more.  CODING_STYLE was committed almost a decade ago.
If we had cleaned up back then, the churn and the blame would be long
forgotten, and we would've spared ourselves plenty of review cycles and
quite a few style discussions.  It's late, but never too late.

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