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Re: [PATCH] Show more information in diff labels in mailer.py

From: Daniel Rall <dlr_at_collab.net>
Date: 2006-09-19 00:18:06 CEST

On Mon, 18 Sep 2006, Mathias Weinert wrote:

> Peter Samuelson wrote:
> > I'm still not convinced that "()" is a clearer magic filename than
> > "/dev/null". The advantage of "/dev/null" is that you can omit the
> > timestamp in _all_ cases, and I find the lack of such clutter
> > refreshing when reading udiffs, especially since this usually prevents
> > the --- +++ headers from wrapping past 80 columns. My own patch
> > management scripts already remove timestamps from my diff headers, for
> > readability, and I happen to know I'm not the only one who does this.
> As already said in an earlier post IMHO the output of mailer.py is more
> a textual information than a base for any kind of automatic processing.
> On the other hand there seem to be several people out there who use
> mailer.py's output to apply patches etc.

While change notification email output is more intended for human
consumption than machine consumption, occassionally you come across
some changes to a project that you only have easy access to in that
form. It's awfully convenient to be able to cut and paste from the
patch in the notification email....

> So why not defining an additional configuration parameter 'diff_style'
> with the possible values 'human' which prints the diff labels like
> suggested (may be using /dev/null for deleted paths) and 'patch' which
> prints no additional information?
> Two additional thoughts about this:
> 1. Although we would introduce two types of diff output, both of them
> would work with patch if no additional flags are given with the
> patch command.

The only reason I see for such an enhancement would be if the mailer
produced truly human-friendly output, such as the diff views in Trac
and ViewVC, which is not intended to be digested by programs like

IMHO, adding this complexity and minor additional tool incompatibility
doesn't seem like the best trade-off for the additional information it

> 2. I don't mind using /dev/null for deleted paths. The only additional
> argument that comes into my mind is that a Windows user will not know
> anything about /dev/null.

While I agree, () doesn't strike me as particularly more informative.

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Received on Tue Sep 19 00:19:23 2006

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