[PATCH] Add commit message guidelines to developer policy
richard at metafoo.co.uk
Mon Mar 16 13:01:46 PDT 2015
Comment at: docs/DeveloperPolicy.rst:320-322
@@ +319,5 @@
+* `Attribution of Changes`_ should be in a separate line, after the end of
+ the body, as simple as "Patch by John Doe.". This is how we officially
+ handle attribution, and there are automated processes that rely on this
> rsmith wrote:
> > If we want to officially support such processes, we should be very explicit as to exactly what format they're looking for. Presumably, it's a case-insensitive match for the string "patch by "?
> I'm not being specific about the process of identifying it for a very special reason: we don't need to.
> Regular expressions can be quite powerful in detecting patters, and any current script can already deal with all the variations we already have, so there's no reason to be explicit on the format. However, names can be very hard to parse, especially international names or abbreviations, and trying to get a consensus on that would be impossible.
> So we rely on common sense. The most used "automated" process right now is to "grep for someone's name on the git log". So what "patch by" string looks like is irrelevant, including capitalization, exclamation marks, or others.
Yours is not the only use case. "grep for someone's name on the git log" doesn't let us find all patches authored by anyone who is not the committer, which is sometimes a useful thing to do. (It's also liable to fail if there are variations in how the name is spelled.)
If we want to allow automated processes to identify information in commit messages, we should precisely specify how such information should be formatted / detected. What's the point in having a policy on this if we don't actually make it precise enough to be useful?
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