Tales from the Gryphon/ archives/ 2008/

Tales from the Gryphon

Archives for 2008/04

Manoj's hackergotchi
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Friday 04 April
Link: Schemes for packaging using Git: An analysis

Posted Friday evening, April 4th, 2008

Schemes for packaging using Git: An analysis

"Are you rebasing or merging?" seems to be the 64 thousand dollar question over in vcs-pkg discussions. Various people have offered their preferences, and indeed, several case studies of work flows have been presented, what is lacking is an analysis of the work-flow; an exploration of which methodology has advantages, and whether there are scenarios in which the other work flow would have been better.

Oh, what are all these work flows about, you ask? Most of the issues with packaging software for distributions have a few things in common: there is a mainline or upstream source of development. There are zero or more independent lines of development or ongoing bug fixes that are to be managed. And then there is the tree from which the distribution package is to be built. All this talk about packaging software work flows is how to best manage asynchronous development upstream and in the independent lines of development, and how to create a coherent, debuggable, integrated tree from which to build the distributions package.

The rebasing question goes to the heart of how to handle the independent lines of development using git; since these lines of development are based off the main line of development, and must be periodically synchronized. Here is a first look at a couple of important factors that will have bearing on that question, and packaging software for a distribution using Git in general. This is heavily geared towards git (nothing else does rebases so easily, I think), but some of the concepts should be generic. I am not considering the stacked set of quilt patches source controlled with Git in this article (I don't understand that model well enough to do an analysis)

As a teaser, there is a third answer: neither. You can just add an independent line of development, and just let it sit: don't rebase, and don't merge; and in some circumstances that is a winning strategy.


Wednesday 02 April
Link: Migrating to Git

Posted in the wee hours of Tuesday night, April 2nd, 2008

Migrating to Git

I have been using Arch to package my Debian packages since 2003; which means that Arch has had a good long run as my SCM of choice. I have been using CVS for a few years before I moved to arch, and the migration took me about six months, since it involved a while new philosophy of packaging; I am hoping that migrating to git would not involve such a major paradigm shift, and thus be less disruptive and time consuming. What follows is a narrative of my efforts to get educated about Git.

This article is meant to be an annotated, selective, organized set of links to information about Git. How does it differ from the myriad of other link collections about Git proliferating on the web? Well, the value add is in the annotations and the organization: while not quite a narrative of my exploration, this is an idealized version of what I think my discovery process should have been, to be most effective. Staging the information is important; google finds one lots of information that is incomprehensible to someone just coming to Git. This selection of links is actually selective; I have included only pointers to resources that fed me information at the level that I could handle at that stage, and I have eliminated links to information that was not new at that point. I have tried to select the best (in terms of information and clarity) of breed for each kind of information source I have come across so far.

There is a caveat: while still a beginner, though I am able to better judge now what is confusing to a beginner than I shall be when I have become more familiar with the system, I am still enough of a novice not to trust my judgement on what really is best practice. I can fix the latter as I gain experience, but then I'll need to be careful not to overload on complexity too early in the learning curve.

On the down side, this selection is subjective, and probably shall be even in the long term: I include what appealed to me, and will probably miss loads of pointers to information that I have not yet come across. However, I hope this will make it easier for other people to reach the same goal: use git for their version control needs.

Have fun.


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