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Re: reposurgeon now writes Subversion repositories

From: Eric S. Raymond <esr_at_thyrsus.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 01:36:10 -0500

Branko ─îibej <brane_at_wandisco.com>:
> On 30.11.2012 22:53, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> > The problem is that in order for that state to be mobile, none of it
> > can have pointers to data that can't move off the host server. In
> > particular, *all user identities have to be Internet-scoped* rather
> > than local Unix IDs.
> At this point I have to ask if you've been reading our responses.

Sure I have. I'm not insisting on "user must be able to set the
attribution ID", I'm insisting on "it has to still be meaningful when
the project moves". If OpenID or any of the other similar schemes had
actually succeeded, they would do fine. The roll-your-own-ID-string
practice is forced on us because there is no authoritative identity

> Nothing requires svn:author to contain Unix user IDs. Nothing prevents
> the server from putting e-mail addresses, or even "Name Surname
> <e_at_mail>" strings into svn:author. We specifically designed the property
> so that the server /can/ do this, and there are several widely-used
> mechanisms for doing exactly that, regardless of access method;
> http[s]://, svn+ssh://, svn:// (with or without SASL) all give the
> administrator the hooks to do this.

Right, I understand this. Forgive me if it seems like a theoretical
quibble, though. I've lost count of the number of Subversion repo
lifts I've done (has to be more than a dozen at this point), and in no
case have I ever seen *anything* but a local Unix ID in the svn:author

> Why do forges not do that? I don't know, but it's definitely not because
> Subversion doesn't give them fifteen ways of manipulating the svn:author
> property.

I don't know either.

I do know that protests to me of the general form "if they'd just use
poorly-documented alchemical formula XYZ everything would be fine" aren't going
to solve your problem. In no case have I ever seen, etc. The guy in the
trenches is telling you that your fifteen ways aren't producing any
result he can distinguish from "svn:author is always a Unix user ID".

You can throw up your hands and say "the forges aren't doing it right", sure.
And if you want to sleepwalk your way into obsolescence, that'll be a fine
and effective way to get there.

		Eric S. Raymond
Received on 2012-12-01 07:36:48 CET

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