[darcs-users] benefits of automatic patch attribution (was: Re: Colin Walters...)

goran.krampe at bluefish.se goran.krampe at bluefish.se
Mon Nov 22 07:46:50 UTC 2004

Hi all!

Just a reflection/sidenote from a Smalltalker (Squeak).

Mark Stosberg <mark at summersault.com> wrote:
> On 2004-11-21, Juliusz Chroboczek <jch at pps.jussieu.fr> wrote:
> >
> > right patch identity -- they later pull from my repo and darcs does
> > the right thing.  (There's also a psychological benefit: the patch
> > gets automatically attributed to them by |darcs changes|, which is
> > important for Free Software projects that rely on the contributors'
> > good will to go forward.)
> I think automatic patch attribution work is an important and somewhat
> unique point that should be promoted more. This was one of the positive
> first impressions I had about darcs. It's also one of the parts of being
> distributed that I think darcs gets right. 

Squeak is being developed using what is called "update streams". Each
Squeak image (approx = local working copy) is being fed updates in the
form of ChangeSets. A ChangeSet is very similar to a patch, but is a
Smalltalk object that has semantic knowledge about the patch - which it
can have since this is Squeak specific stuff and only handles Smalltalk
code changes - and not just "changes to text files".

Anyway, one of the very nice sideeffects is that we have a history of
Squeak development reaching more or less back to 1996 with developer
initials attached to every little change. And yes - this is very useful
in the long run. :)

And another thing is that Squeak has nice tools inside which deals with
these ChangeSets, like "show me the ChangeSets in which this method
appears" etc.

regards, Göran

PS. Squeak also has a new SCM tool called Monticello which does in some
ways resemble darcs, or at least resemble the group of tools that darcs
belong to (Arch/Monotone/darcs etc).

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