On 09/30/2012 10:00 AM, Junio C Hamano wrote:
> Michael Haggerty <mhag...@alum.mit.edu> writes:
>> longest_ancestor_length() relies on a textual comparison of directory
>> parts to find the part of path that overlaps with one of the paths in
>> prefix_list.  But this doesn't work if any of the prefixes involves a
>> symbolic link, because the directories will look different even though
>> they might logically refer to the same directory.  So canonicalize the
>> paths listed in prefix_list using real_path_if_valid() before trying
>> to find matches.
> I somehow feel that this is making the logic unnecessarily
> convoluted by solving the problem at a wrong level.
> If longest_ancestor_length() takes a single string and a list of
> candidate string prefixes, conceptually it should be usable for any
> hierarchy-looking string that uses slashes as hierarchy separator
> (e.g. refs that may be stored in packed-refs that you cannot expect
> lstat(2) or readlink(2) to give you any sensible results).
> The real problem is that the list given from the environment may
> contain a path that violates that "it suffices to take the longest
> string-prefix taking slashes into account" assumption in such a
> generic l-a-l implementation, no?  And this patch solves it by
> making l-a-l _less_ generic and forcing it to be aware of the glitch
> of its caller (you can either blame clueless user who lies when
> setting the GIT_CEILING_DIRECTORIES by including paths contaminated
> with symlinks, or blame the calling setup_git_directory_gently_1()
> function that does not resolve the symbolic links before calling
> this function).
> As l-a-l is only used by the "stop at the ceiling" logic, isn't it a
> far simpler solution to keep the function work at the string level,
> and make the caller fix its input, i.e. the value taken from the
> environment variable, before calling it?  That is, grab the value of
> GIT_CEILING_DIRECTORIES, split it into a list at PATH_SEP (while
> rejecting any non-absolute paths), normalize the elements of that
> list by resolving symbolic links, and then pass the cwd[] and the
> normalized string list to l-a-l?
> The resulting callsite in setup_git_directory_gently_1() would pass
> cwd[] and the ceiling_dirs (which now is a string list), all of
> whose elements would happen to begin with "/" (or dos drive prefix
> followed by the "root" symbol), but l-a-l can be written in such a
> way that it does not even require that all the input has to begin at
> root, which would later make it usable with things that are not
> paths (references, for example, all of which begin with "refs/" and
> not "/refs/").

I agree that longest_ancestor_length() is not very generic or
interesting anymore.  Nearly all of its "added value" comes from the
normalize_path_callback() helper function.  One possibility would be to
inline it at the one place it is called.

The function string_list_longest_prefix() was my attempt to isolate the
kernel of generic functionality from longest_ancestor_path().  It is
*almost* the function that you are proposing, with the exception that it
does not ensure that the prefix match ends at a "/" boundary.  So
another alternative could be to change this function to respect "/"
boundaries.  (After the change, the function might not belong in the
string-list API anymore.)

However, the semantics of a function that matches prefixes at "/"
boundaries is not entirely obvious.  Suppose we would implement the test
via a function like path_prefixcmp(path, prefix).  I can think of a few
policy questions that would have to be answered:

* Is a trailing slash on the prefix argument required, optional, or
prohibited?  What if the prefix is "/" or "//" or "c:/"?

* Is a trailing slash on the path argument optional/prohibited?  Are "/"
or "//" allowed as path arguments?

* Is a path its own prefix?

    path_prefixcmp("a/b", "a/b") -> true or false?

(For the implementation of longest_ancestor_path(), we would prefer this
to return "false".)  Or does the answer depend on whether the prefix has
a trailing slash?

    path_prefixcmp("a/b", "a/b") -> true?
    path_prefixcmp("a/b", "a/b/") -> false?

Part of the reason that I implemented string_list_longest_prefix()
instead of the function that you suggest is that the behavior of the
former is far more obvious.

I think I would advocate that the prefix has to match the front of the
path exactly (including any trailing slashes) and either

    strlen(prefix) == 0
    or the prefix ended with a '/'
    or the prefix and path are identical
    or the character in path following the matching part is a '/'

This would allow the "is path its own prefix" policy to be decided by
the caller by either including or omitting a trailing slash on the
prefix argument.


Michael Haggerty
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