[darcs-users] Signing patches

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at theingots.org
Fri Apr 10 14:03:13 UTC 2009


I accidentally sent this to Jason only.

Ok, I have a question about patch theory:

I create patch A and then patch B which depends on A. Meanwhile, my
friend Joe makes patch X in his repository which *arguably* fills in the
conditions for B too. What happens if Joe tries to pull B from my
repository? Will Darcs demand to pull A too, or will Darcs decide that X
can take the place of A?

The reason I ask is that I want to figure out whether every patch has a
unique set of dependencies or not. If the list of dependencies is
unique, I have a potential idea for making unique hashes+signatures:

* I'm going to define the hash H which I hope will be uniquely
defined for any patch. If H is unique, we can sign H.

Definition: Given a patch U...

1. If U has no dependencies, let H_u = SHA1(U') where U' is U applied to
the empty repository.

2. If U has dependencies, find the minimal set of patches needed for U.
In other words, commute away everything that can be commuted. This
leaves us with something like this:  ABCDU'.  This is not uniquely
defined. For example, A and B might commute, so that B'A'CDU' is equally
acceptable. But in either case, U' will look the same (right?). Now we
can define H_u:

H_u = SHA1( join(sort(H_a,H_b,H_c,H_d)) ++ SHA1(U'))

In other words, take the H hashes for A-D, sort them alphabetically,
concatenate them, concatenate that with SHA1(U').

In this way, the hash H for any patch depends on that patch's
dependencies. But you can see that this is only well defined if the
concept of "that patch's dependencies" is well defined, and it isn't if
we can replace patch A by patch X.


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