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Re: [PATCH] Drop some dashes from built-in invocations in scripts

Hi Junio,

On Mon, 7 Aug 2017, Junio C Hamano wrote:

> Michael Forney <mforney@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > This way, they still work even if the built-in symlinks aren't
> > installed.
> >
> > Signed-off-by: Michael Forney <mforney@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > ---
> > It looks like there was an effort to do this a number of years ago (through
> > `make remove-dashes`). These are just a few I noticed were still left in the
> > .sh scripts.
> Our goal was *not* to have *no* "git-foo" on the filesystem,
> though. It happened in v1.6.0 timeframe and it was about removing
> "git-foo" from end-user's $PATH.

That was in the v1.6.0 timeframe. It is past time to reconsider the goal,
though, as there is really very little use in keeping the dashed forms.

And it does hurt in some circumstances. Take for example .zip files: they
do not support hard-links. So if you need to distribute Git binaries in
.zip files, you are not only affected negatively by the less-than-stellar
compression ratio compared to .bz2 let alone LZMA, Git adds insult to
injury by *forcing* an additional inflation by pointlessly adding the
builtins *again*.

> Earlier there was a more ambitious proposal to remove all "git-foo"
> even from $GIT_EXEC_PATH for built-in commands, but that plan was
> scuttled [*1*].

That *1* is not a good reference, I am afraid. It says very little in
addition to paraphrased commands to stop responding (when a more civilized
call back to rational arguments might have been a lot more productive).

In that light, would you kindly explain in your own words what is your
current thinking on shipping dashed forms of builtins?

I mean, I can understand for git-upload-pack, to help with determining
permissions on server sides (it is easier to filter out all `git` commands
than to painstakingly look whether argv[1] equals `upload-pack`). It's
sort of a very unfortunate outlier.

But I cannot understand at all why we insist on installing hardlinked
copies (or not so hardlinked copies when hardlinks are unavailable) for
builtins, when these copies really outlived their usefulness a long, long
time ago.

So I would love to hear the arguments for keeping the dashed forms of
builtins, even if the only surviving argument may be "I dig in my feet
because I always said we'd keep them".