death to revision messages

Lalo Martins lalo at
Tue Jul 12 08:30:18 BST 2005

tonight I'm giving a presentation at the Beijing LUG about (their words)
"the revolution in open source revision control systems".  As part of my
preparation, I'm making a list of features in other systems that my
favourite racer doesn't (yet) have.

This is an interesting one.  About 7 times out of 10 I want to undo a
commit, is because I put the wrong commit message.  And if the system
made it easier (as Darcs does), I'd probably want to do it even more often.

On the other hand, on Monotone it wouldn't even be necessary.  From what
I understand of the documentation (and one developer already told me the
documentation is probably incomplete, but anyway), I could just issue a
new cert with the correct message.

I'm here to propose we go to a more Monotonic approach to revision
metadata.  This may apply to the message, but also tags and other stuff
we might want to add later (passes-tests flags, arbitrary comments, etc
- we talked about this stuff in the past, and I even made a provision
for it in suq).

So a revision wouldn't have a message as an inherent attribute anymore.
 But it would have any number of "annotations", which would be probably
stored elsewhere.

[Re crypto - which right now we don't have at all, but for the future:
The annotations may or may not be signed (Monotone-style), but if they
are, the signatures should *not* be checked by default (only if you
request them to be), so we avoid the performance problems Monotone can
get sometimes.]

Not clear to me yet how much revision-controlled these annotations would
be, though.  It's probably worth noting when they are added, but should
you be allowed to delete one?  Modify it in-place?

Anyway, just another thought.  I am of course prepared to implement this
 ;-) but consensus first.

                                               Lalo Martins
      So many of our dreams at first seem impossible,
       then they seem improbable, and then, when we
       summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
--                  mailto:lalo at
GNU: never give up freedom       

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