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Re: Referring to commits in commit messages

On Wed, Dec 19 2018, Jeff King wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 03:02:14PM +0100, Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 17 2018, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
>> > v2.11.0-rc3~3^2~1 (stripspace: respect repository config, 2016-11-21)
>> Minor nit not just on this patch, but your patches in general: I think
>> you're the only one using this type of template instead of the `%h
>> ("%s", %ad)` format documented in SubmittingPatches.
>> I've had at least a couple of cases where I've git log --grep=<abbr sha>
>> and missed a commit of yours when you referred to another commit.
>> E.g. when composing
>> https://public-inbox.org/git/878t0lfwrj.fsf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/ I
>> remembered PERLLIB_EXTRA went back & forth between
>> working/breaking/working with your/my/your patch, so:
>>     git log --grep=0386dd37b1
>> Just found the chain up to my breaking change, but not your 7a7bfc7adc,
>> which refers to that commit as v1.9-rc0~88^2.
>> Maybe this is really a feature request. I.e. maybe we should have some
>> mode where --grep=<commitish> will be combined with some mode where we
>> try to find various forms of <commitish> in commit messages, then
>> normalize & match them....
> That would help when you're using --grep, but not other things that are
> trying to parse the commit message. Two instances I've noticed:
>   - web interfaces like GitHub won't linkify this type of reference
>     (whereas they will for something that looks like a hex object id)

I wonder if we had some canonical plumbing combination of to `git
cat-file -p` and/or a utility like git-interpret-trailers that would
take a commit message and spew out BEGIN/END/SHA-1 positions for
commitish that we found whether sites like GitHub would use it.

They'd still need to do a second pass to for any of their own markup,
e.g. the elsewhere@<commitish> syntax, or referring to PRs/MRs issues

>   - my terminal makes it easy to select hex strings, but doesn't
>     understand this git-describe output :)
> These tools _could_ be taught a regex like /v(\d+.)(-rc\d+)?([~^]+d)*/.
> But matching hex strings is a lot simpler, and works across many
> projects.
> So I agree with you that this git-describe format is less convenient for
> readers, but my preferred solution is to use a different format, rather
> than try to teach every reading tool to be more clever.
> As far as I can tell, the main advantage of using "v2.11.0-rc3~3^2~1"
> over its hex id is that it gives a better sense in time of which Git
> version we're talking about.  The date in the parentheses does something
> similar for wall-clock time, but it's left to the reader to map that to
> a Git version if they choose.
> Personally, I find the wall-clock time to be enough, since usually what
> I want to know is "how ancient is this". And in the rare instance that I
> care about the containing version, it's not a big deal to use "git tag
> --contains".  If we really want to convey that information in the text,
> I think it would be reasonable to say something like:
>   In commit 1234abcd (the subject line, 2016-01-01, v2.11.0), we did
>   blah blah blah
> with a few simple rules:
>   - only mention a single version, the oldest one that contains the
>     commit[1]. If it's in v2.11.1, we can infer that it's in v2.12.0,
>     etc.
>   - only mention released commits; for the granularity we're talking
>     about here, the distinction between v2.11.0 and v2.11.0-rc3 is not
>     important
>   - if it hasn't been in a released version, don't include a version at
>     all.
> That's probably over-engineering, and I'm perfectly fine with the
> oid/subject/date format most people use. Just trying to give an option
> if people really think the tag name is useful.
> -Peff
> [1] I usually compute the containing version with:
>       $ git help has
>       'has' is aliased to '!f() { git tag --contains "$@" | grep ^v | grep -v -- -rc | sort -V | head -1; }; f'
>     though I suspect it could be done these days with fewer processes
>     using "tag --sort".