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SubjectRe: A modest proposal -- We need a patch penguin
On Thu, 31 Jan 2002 17:04:28 -0800, 
Larry McVoy <> wrote:
>On Fri, Feb 01, 2002 at 11:29:58AM +1100, Keith Owens wrote:
>> That sounds almost like what I was looking for, with two differences.
>> (1) Implement the collapsed set so bk records that it is equivalent to
>> the individual patchsets. Only record that information in my tree.
>> I need the detailed history of what changes went into the collapsed
>> set, nobody else does.
>> (2) Somebody else creates a change against the collapsed set and I pull
>> that change. bk notices that the change is again a collapsed set
>> for which I have local detail. The external change becomes a
>> branch off the last detailed patch in the collapsed set.
>This is certainly possible to do. However, unless you are willing to fund
>this development, we aren't going to do it. We will pick up the costs of
>making changes that you want if and only if we have commercial customers
>who want (or are likely to want) the same thing. Nothing personal, it's
>a business and we make tradeoffs like that all the time.


>Collapsing is relatively easy, it's tracking the same content in two
>different sets of deltas which is hard to get exactly correct. Certainly
>possible but I can visualize what it would take and it would be messy and
>disruptive to the source base for an obscure feature that is unlikely to
>be used.
>Why don't you actually use BK for a while and see if you really think
>you need this feature. The fact that our customers aren't clamoring for
>it should tell you something. They do work as hard and on as much code
>(in many cases on the same code) as you do.

This is the way that I use PRCS now and it fits the diff/patch model
for distributing kernel code that most people are used to, while
reducing the concerns about information overload.

With PRCS I have branches galore with lots of little changes. The
outside world sees complete patch sets, not the individual changes.
When they send a patch back I work out which internal change it is
against and start a new branch against it. The downside with PRCS is
that the creation of the patch set and storing on an ftp site is a
manual process, as is identifying which internal change a patch
response is against and starting a new branch against the last internal

If bk could automate the creation and tracking of meta patchsets I
would convert tomorrow, the ability to automatically distribute changes
is what I miss in PRCS. But if using bk means that I cannot
automatically separate and track the internal and external patches then
there is no benefit to me in converting. If I have to clone a
repository to roll up internal patches into an external set and I
cannot automatically pull changes against the external set back into my
working repository then bk gives me no advantages.

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