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Re: RFC: simple proposal for Internet-scoped IDs

From: Peter Samuelson <peter_at_p12n.org>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2012 14:57:46 -0600

[Eric S. Raymond]
> 1. Add support to the client tools for shipping a FULLNAME field
> mined from somewhere under ~/.subversion. Maybe the existing
> username entry will do, maybe it won't - I see arguments both ways.
> I don't care, we can fill in that detail later.

This part (upon which your whole proposal hinges) makes me scratch my
head a bit. Why should the client be involved at all? The whole
centralized Subversion architecture is such that (unless you allow
anonymous commits, which most people do not) every committer must, a
priori, be set up with an account. That setup process seems like the
perfect place to populate the mapping between authentication token (of
which a Unix username is just one case) and arbitrary additional ID
metadata, globally scoped or otherwise. Thus the mapping table (or
let's just call it an account database) would live on the server, and
if you want to add extra metadata (somewhat redundantly) to revision
properties, the server is in a position to do so. As others have
mentioned, hook scripts to do exactly this are quite easy to write -
it's really just a matter of having a way for the script to look up the
metadata (however you plan to store that), keyed on the auth token.

And sure, it's an extra setup step to write a hook script to do this,
but given your target for this feature is "the forges", this kind of
integration glue seems like exactly the point of those "forges" in the
first place.

Now, of course, it's possible that some people would want a more
structured way to express the _author_ as opposed to the _committer_.
As someone said upthread, it's perhaps unfortunate that our svn:author
property really means committer. But it is what it is, and I don't
think it's wise to change its semantics to be a more loosely defined
"original author". If needed, that should be a separate field.

And indeed, standardizing an "original author" field may not be without
controversy. It is a step along the road to also more policy-driven
features such as the famous Signed-Off-By from git land. At some point
it stops being Subversion's responsibility to standardize this kind of
metadata. There may be some question whether that point is "original
author" or "Q/A signoff" or something else.

Received on 2012-12-03 21:58:26 CET

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