On 11/11/2012 12:15 PM, Jeff King wrote:
On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 12:00:44PM -0500, A Large Angry SCM wrote:

a) Leave the name conversion to the export tools, and when they miss
some weird corner case, like 'Author<email', let the user face the
consequences, perhaps after an hour of the process.
b) Do the name conversion in fast-import itself, perhaps optionally,
so if a tool missed some weird corner case, the user does not have to
face the consequences.
c) Do the name conversion, and whatever other cleanup and manipulations
you're interesting in, in a filter between the exporter and git-fast-import.

Such a filter would probably be quite complicated, and would decrease


The fast import stream protocol is pretty simple. All the filter
really needs to do is pass through everything that isn't a 'commit'
command. And for the 'commit' command, it only needs to do something
with the 'author' and 'committer' lines; passing through everything

I agree that an additional filter _may_ decrease performance somewhat
if you are already CPU constrained. But I suspect that the effect
would be negligible compared to the all of the SHA-1 calculations.

It might be measurable, as you are passing every byte of every version
of every file in the repo through an extra pipe. But more importantly, I
don't think it helps.

If there is not a standard filter for fixing up names, we do not need to
care. The user can use "sed" or whatever and pay the performance penalty
(and deal with the possibility of errors from being lazy about parsing
the fast-import stream).

If there is a standard filter, then what is the advantage in doing it as
a pipe? Why not just teach fast-import the same trick (and possibly make
it optional)? That would be simpler, more efficient, and it would make
it easier for remote helpers to turn it on (they use a command-line
switch rather than setting up an extra process).

But what I don't understand is: what would such a standard filter look
like? Fast-import (or a filter) would already receive the exporter's
best attempt at a git-like ident string. We can clean up and normalize
things like whitespace (and we probably should if we do not do so
already). But beyond that, we have no context about the name; only the
exporter has that.

So if we receive:

   Foo Bar<foo....@example.com>  <none@none>


   Foo Bar<foo....@example.com<none@none>


   Foo Bar<foo....@example.com

what do we do with it? Is the first part a malformed name/email pair,
and the second part is crap added by a lazy exporter? Or does the
exporter want to keep the angle brackets as part of the name field? Is
there a malformed email in the last one, or no email at all?

The exporter is the only program that actually knows where the data came
from, how it should be broken down, and what is appropriate for pulling
data out of its particular source system. For that reason, the exporter
has to be the place where we come up with a syntactically correct and
unambiguous ident.

I am not opposed to adding a mailmap-like feature to fast-import to map
identities, but it has to start with sane, unambiguous output from the

I don't think that there is or can be a standard filter. Cleaning up after a broken exporter is likely to always be a repository unique situation. The example here is about names and email addresses but it could easily be about other things (dates, history, content, etc.). Some of which that could possible be fixed using git-filter-branch; some possibly not.

Fixing the exporter is always the most desirable option, but it may not be the best option for the particular situation. Locally modifying git-fast-import is another option; again, possibly not the best option. Convincing the git maintainers to handle your specific situation, though a good option for you, is not likely to be scalable. A filter in front of git-fast-import is always _an_ option and can tailored to the particular situation.

My preference is to follow the "Unix philosophy": the tools are focused on what they need to do and can be composed with other tools/scripts to accomplish the desired result.

d) Another (bad) option is to make git-fast-import very permissive and warn the user to fix things via git-filter-branch before distributing the repository or git's standard repository checks find the problems.

This isn't my itch so I think I may have exhausted my $0.02 on this subject.
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