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RFC: Log Message Templates via new hook.

From: Mark Grosberg <myg_at_gladesoft.com>
Date: 2005-05-19 05:56:16 CEST

Brane writes:

> Greg Hudson wrote:
>
> >Substitutable sections allows us to insert the list of modifiable files,
> >and perhaps format it in a predefined set of ways, but it will always be
> >more limited than letting the server run arbitrary code to process it.
> >
> >
> Indeed it would, there's no question about that. But I've yet to see
> proof that we really need that kind of flexibility.

Well, I've worked at some very large companies with very formal
development processes in the past and would say that there is a need for
this kind of flexability there. One particular area is integration with
the bug tracker. From the user name the hook script could map the the user
id and the set of bugs they are working on to a change authorization
number, for example. This is pretty much impossible to do from a static
template.

These days I work at a small company where there is little process -- but
I can still see a good use for the hook script. For example, as a matter
of policy we put certain keywords in a certain format in the log message
so logs can be easily grepped. The keywords correspond to the type of
changes being made. These keywords can't be determined from the list of
files alone, the user id matters. Why? Because some comitters only make
changes to various static tables and not the "logical" portion of the
code. Others don't ever touch the tables and only touch the code.

Right now we try to do the keywords on each commit and put them in by
hand; but an automated system where we can simply put the rules in a Perl
script would be nice. This is an actual use case for the way we use
subversion at work.

As for open source projects, there are a few other uses I can see. For
example, due to the whole SCO scuffle, patches to the Linux kernel require
a "Signed-off-by" line naming the person who approved the patch. Maybe
another open source project [*] would like "Approved by: Joe Schmoe" in
their commit logs. There isn't an easy way to map the user id "joes" to
"Joe Schmoe" with a template-based scheme, but its very easy with some
server-side code.

I'm in favor of the hook script even though it means an extra network turn
around (and a new RA vtable entry) so my use-cases are biased towards
that. But they are probably a useful data point for further discussion.

Thanks,
Mark G.

[*] Incidentally, another OS project does use SVN and they do have to be
extra careful of tainted code; ReactOS (http://reactos.com) is an open
source Windows NT implementation that is quite impressive to NT kernel
fans. The ReactOS project is not listed on the testimonials page, perhaps
they should be?

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Received on Fri May 20 16:46:16 2005

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