[Numpy-discussion] DVCS at PyCon

David Cournapeau cournape@gmail....
Tue Apr 14 01:26:56 CDT 2009

2009/4/14 Stéfan van der Walt <stefan@sun.ac.za>:
> 2009/4/12 Stéfan van der Walt <stefan@sun.ac.za>:
>> I underestimated the
>> value of this type of manipulation, and of having a clearly structured
>> and easily traversable history.
> I read that Bram Cohen of Codeville / "patience diff" fame doesn't
> agree with me, so I'll give his opinion too:
> """
> Don't bother with a pretty history.
> The history of a branch is hardly ever looked at. Making it look
> pretty for the historians is just a waste of time. The beauty of 3-way
> merge is that you can always clean stuff up later and never worry
> about the past mess ever again. In particular, don't go to great
> lengths to make sure that there's a coherent local image of the entire
> repository exactly as it appeared on your local machine after every
> new feature. There are very rare projects which maintain a level of
> reliability and testing which warrant such behavior, and yours isn't
> one of them.
> """
> http://bramcohen.livejournal.com/52148.html
> I look at the SciPy history a lot, so I'm not convinced, but there it is.

I think it depends on the context. In open source software, the
history is quite important - when I digged into distutils, I wished
svn were better at this to understand where some code came from (the
information is almost always lost when changes cross files). In a
company, or more exactly when people working on the code are
physically near from each other, you (hopefully) have people who know
a lot of the 'black art' behind things, and who are available to
transmit this.

Concerning branches, he said he had no experience in code review. So
it is to be taken with some perspective.

I think ultimately, only experience can really tell which things are
better than others on those issues.



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