On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 09:35:18PM +0100, Felipe Contreras wrote:

> > Yes, dying would be a regression, in that you would have to configure
> > your name via the environment and re-run rather than type it at the
> > prompt. You raise a good point that for people who _could_ take the
> > implicit default, hitting "enter" is working fine now, and we would lose
> > that.  I'd be fine with also just continuing to prompt in the implicit
> > case.
> >
> > But that is a much smaller issue to me than having send-email fail to
> > respect environment variables and silently use user.*, which is what
> > started this whole discussion. And I agree it is worth considering as a
> > regression we should avoid.
> It might be smaller, I don't think so. A hypothetical user that was
> relying on GIT_AUTHOR for whatever reason can switch to 'git
> send-email --from' (which is much easier) when they notice the
> failure, the same way somebody relying on fqdn would. The difference
> is that people with fqdn do exist, and they might be relying on this.
> Both are small issues, that I agree with.
> But the point is that you seem to be very adamant about _my_
> regressions, and not pay much attention about yours.

Really? I mentioned initially the possibility of dying instead of
prompting. You raised the point that it would regress a certain use
case. And then what happened? I said above "you raise a good point[...].
I'd be fine with also just continuing to prompt[...]. I agree it is
worth considering as a regression we should avoid". And then I sent out
a patch series which does not have the regression.

In other words, my suggestion was a bad one, and once it was pointed
out, I did not pursue it.  If you want to call that "not paying much
attention", feel free. But I'd much rather you point out problems in my
actual patch series.

> Why do you hold on to my first patch?

Because clearly I am confused by your behavior. You continued to argue
that the initial regression was not worth worrying about. Which I
thought meant you were still interested in pursuing that patch. But if
you are not, then there is not even any point in discussing it.  Which
is just fine with me, as that discussion seemed to be going nowhere.

> The second patch doesn't have this issue. It does change the behavior
> of 'git commit', yeah, but I think that's a benefit.

Changing "git commit" is even something I would entertain. It would be a
regression for some people, but at least it buys us something (increased
safety against people making bogus commits and failing to notice the
warning). I'm undecided on whether that is worth it or not.

But when you presented it, as far as I could tell the change in behavior
to "git commit" was accidental (which is why I pointed it out in
response). And as it was in the middle of a discussion about whether
regressions matter, it was not clear to me that your argument was "I
have thought this through and the inconvenience is outweighted by the
benefit" and not "I did not bother to consider the implications for
users who are currently using this feature".

If you want to seriously propose changing the behavior of "git commit",
I think the best thing would be to make a real patch, laying out the
pros and cons in the commit message, and post it. I would not be
surprised if the other list participants have stopped reading our thread
at this point, and the idea is going otherwise unnoticed.

> > So you can either:
> >
> >   1. Reimplement the environment variable lookup that ident.c does,
> >      leaving implicit ident logic out completely.
> >
> >   2. Modify ident.c and "git var" to let send-email reuse the logic in
> >      ident.c, but avoid dropping the prompt when an implicit ident is
> >      used.
> >
> > Doing (2) sounds a lot more maintainable to me in the long run.
> Or:
> 3. Change the meaning of the STRICT flag so that the values are
> explicit, which has benefits outside 'git send-email'. Yes, this would
> change the behavior in 'git commit' and other tools, but it's worth to
> investigate these changes, and most likely they would be desirable.

Yes, I think that is fine _if_ we want to change git-commit. Which is
not clear to me. If we don't, then it is not an option.

> Or:
> 4. Just stop prompting
> I already sent a patch for 4. with all the details of why nobody (or
> very few, if any) would be affected negatively.

If doing (2) were really hard, that might be worth considering. But it's
not. I already did it. So I don't see how this is an attractive option,
unless my series is so unpalatable that we would rather accept a

> >   [1/6]: ident: make user_ident_explicitly_given private
> >   [2/6]: ident: keep separate "explicit" flags for author and committer
> >   [3/6]: var: accept multiple variables on the command line
> >   [4/6]: var: provide explicit/implicit ident information
> >   [5/6]: Git.pm: teach "ident" to query explicitness
> >   [6/6]: send-email: do not prompt for explicit repo ident
> I think this adds a lot of code that nobody would use.

A lot of code? It is mostly refactoring, which IMHO makes the resulting
code cleaner, and it increases the utility of "git var", and our test
coverage. If you have review comments, then by all means, respond to the

> > I do not necessarily agree on "git commit". Moreover, I feel like it is
> > a separate issue. My series above _just_ implements the "do not prompt
> > when explicit" behavior. It does not deal with git-commit at all, nor
> > does it address the author/committer fallback questions. Those can
> > easily go on top.
> Yes, at the cost of adding a lot of code. If we end up agreeing that
> the changes to 'git commit' are desirable (which I hope at some point
> we will), then this code would be all for nothing.

If we are going to change "git commit" immediately, then I agree there
is not much point merging my series. But even if we do change it, will
we do so immediately? Will there be a deprecation period? If so, then my
series helps send-email in the meantime. And it's already written, so
you do not even have to do anything.

> I want clarify that this is merely a disagreement to at which level
> should we worry about regressions. On one side of the spectrum you
> have projects like GNOME, who don't have any problem breaking the
> user-experience from one release to the next, I'm not proposing
> anything like that. On the other side I think it's you, because I
> don't recall encountering anybody with such an extreme position of
> never introducing a regression ever if there's absolutely no evidence
> that anybody is using certain feature.

I don't think that's a fair characterization of my position. I am fine
with introducing a regression if there is a large benefit to it, and
especially if the regression is mutually exclusive with the benefit. For
example, look at IDENT_STRICT. We used to allow broken email addresses
in commits, and it was _me_ who pushed forward the change to disallow
it. That potentially regressed people who would rather have junk in the
commit objects than configure their identity (e.g., because they are
creating commits on the backend of some automated process). But we
discussed it, and the breakage was worth the increased safety for normal
users. We could not have it both ways, since the safety came at the
expense of switching the default.

But with this topic, we had a too-safe default (a safety prompt that was
sometimes overkill). We can have our cake and eat it, too: drop the
prompt for the overkill cases, but leave the other cases untouched. And
that is what I tried to do in my series.  Note that this _still_
regresses certain use cases. What if I have configured my user.email,
but I am expecting send-email to prompt me so I can put in some other
random value. But we can't improve the prompting and leave that case
there; they are mutually exclusive. But IMHO, the benefit outweighs the
possibility of breakage.

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