Subject: Re: src/dist is a *bad* idea
To: NetBSD-current Discussion List <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 12/15/1999 16:35:09
[ On Monday, December 13, 1999 at 17:14:57 (-0500), Jim Wise wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: src/dist is a *bad* idea
> Real problem or not, the fact is that gnu/dist has been around for quite
> some time, and in fact _has_ seen us through a variety of code
> improvements and even version updates quite successfully.  It's all very
> well to claim that it doesn't work and can't work, but the fact is that
> it _does_ work, and if you want to end it, the onus is on you to show us
> what's possible with code directly in the tree that's not possible with
> dist hierarchies.

I think I've described the issues sufficiently that anyone familiar with
the way CVS works internally can see what they are.  Any further
discussion should probably take place over in the <>

Well, OK, on final rehash:  As I've already explained it all boils down
to the fact that vendor branches and normal branches don't play well
together, especially down the road after the revision tree starts to get
complex because normal branches will not have the same branch number,
nor indeed even the same number of 'dots' for files branched from the
vendor branch as opposed to files branched from the trunk (which will be
any file with local changes).

BTW, if you really want to keep the vendor files intact on their own
branch then you should create a real, normal, branch to check them in
on, or indeed you can just check them in directly on the trunk if you
tag them appropriately.  This can be done regardless of whether or not
the src/dist stuff is in use.  You won't get any assistance from CVS
w.r.t. proper conflict detection, etc., but you don't if you mix branch
types anyway so it's no big loss.

In any case that's not the main issue.  That's only something that the
NetBSD developers should be aware of.  It doesn't really concern me
directly as I'm not developer who will be working with the NetBSD CVS
repository in any way that will cause this to be of concern to me -- I
was only trying to point out that there may be other reasons to think
about this besides my own primary desire to use a fully integrated
source tree.

The main issue is that as a user of the primary product of the NetBSD
project, i.e. the source tree, I'm strongly opposed to adding further to
the disjointed, ugly, inelegant, confusing, and sometimes duplicating
nature of src/dist.  NetBSD was originally an attractive source product
because it did not suffer this brain damage.  Now it is growing it like
a cancer out of control.  I know I am not alone in this, and I know that
there are sufficient volunteer resources avaliable to avoid it (if
indeed it really does take more resources in the long run to integrate
stuff properly!).  Unfortunately I also know that people will generally
be willing to put up with it for a long time time because those of us
who actually use the source tree in the fashion I do (but who are not
already developers), are relatively rare amongst NetBSD users in
general.  Indeed I will "put up with it", albiet noisily, until it stops
or until such time that a better alternative presents itself.

							Greg A. Woods

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