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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2010 07:07:00 -0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

On Dec 27, 2010, Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:

> To merge changes from the original repository to our repository, it
> would suffice to re-convert the new version of the original
> repository.  You can then merge from that into our repository.

That could be done, I guess, but it would be way too cumbersome.
Cleaning up the repository is not something I'd like to have to do every
time some commit makes to some repository out there.  If we can't get
something that enables us (or others) to “git pull” or “git merge” to
bring in changes from other existing branches, including Linus' tree, I
don't think it's going to work.

Ideally we'd have a repository that people could clone and develop on,
instead of the Linux git tree, but that still enabled easy pulling from
(and pushing to) Linus'-based trees.  I'm speaking in git terms here,
because the goal is to offer a repository that would fit into the
workflow of kernel developers.

> That might be ridiculously slow, but I am sure it could be optimized.

Being slow is not the only problem.  What you're suggesting is what the
git documentation calls “rewriting history”, and it explains why doing
this would make it impossible to perform merges, including updating our
tree from Linus'.

> But it isn't our problem.  We can leave it to be implemented by
> someone who wants it.

Well, *I* want it.  It won't be really useful for me otherwise.

> I think you are being hampered by the feeling that this ought to be
> trivial.

No, what ought to be trivial is the use *after* the repository is
converted.  What you have proposed is unfortunately anything but.

If I just wanted an incompatible git repository, I'd import the existing
Linux-libre releases into it and be done with it.  But it takes far more
than that to be able to track Linus' tree, and it takes understanding of
how git works internally to realize the problems.  That's why I asked
for help from someone who had deep knowledge of this tool.  The easy
approaches, I've already tried, and they don't give me anything useful.

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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