If pkgsrc was using a different version control than CVS (something like git and the ilk), then reviewing per-patch history on the fly would be a cinch. Rather than use a better VC (and I've heard many of you complain about CVS), we change the process to work around its limitations. It's not about the VCS - the notion is that comments in code should explain the reason the code is the way it is, and commit messages should explain the reason for the change. (That's not special to pkgsrc.) Reading all the commit messages that touched a file to find the one of interest (and being sure you did that right) is quite hard, git or cvs, especially if people are also sparse with commit messages. I've had difficulty with this when trying to figure out patches that were added many revisions ago and modified multiple times, often with only a 'update to x' commit message.
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