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Re: format of svn:author

From: Mark Mielke <mark_at_mark.mielke.cc>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 12:22:30 -0500

FYI that "full name" or "email address" are not actually aspects of a
unique identifier. People's names change, and email addresses change.
The unique identifier should normally be much more persistent and should
enable cross referencing with other tools and database reports. The name
and email is for human consumption. The unique identifier is for machine
consumption. Subversion has chosen to define only one attribute to
represent both which makes it extremely difficult to get either. We're
talking about changing customizing the software for dozens of open
source and commercial products, just to make the "full name" visible to
users. But without a standard or convention - we're talking about each
organization defining their own standard or convention and providing
their own customization to dozens of tools. This works against the open
source community being leveraged to provide solutions which benefit the
most people from a shared component.

In the below - Branko seems to suggest that because there is a lot of
material on this "out there" and lots of choices, therefore it isn't the
place for Subversion to step in and choose one to adopt. I suggest that
the reason there is a wealth of material out there is because the
subject is important and that the reason a standard is preferred is
specifically because it allows integration between many tools from many

On 01/03/2012 09:44 AM, Branko Čibej wrote:
> I think this whole thread is slightly bogus. It should be obvious that
> whatever is in the svn:author field has better be a unique identifier of
> the person responsible for the commit, regardless of how it gets there.
> Once that requirement is met, everything else is "simply" a matter of
> getting the repository administrator to set up that identifier in such a
> way that the tools user by the users of that repository can do something
> useful with it.
> I propose that this is /entirely/ in the domain of the organization that
> is maintaining the Subversion installation. There is no standard way of
> identifying all pertinent user information -- or rather, there are some
> 57 different standards. There's nothing stopping the repository
> administrator from writing a pre-commit hook that adds tailored revprops
> with identifiers that comply with all those 57 standards and any custom
> ones, too. Asking Subversion to add reserved revprop names for all
> possible (not even plausible) identification schemes would be a bit like
> asking to add a different boolean property for every known character
> encoding -- in other words, an explosion of reserved property names that
> would, in general, give no benefit to the vast majority of users.
> All that would happen is that different organizations would abuse those
> property names in different, incompatible ways.
> -- Brane

Mark Mielke<mark_at_mielke.cc>
Received on 2012-01-03 18:23:04 CET

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