[OpenWrt-Devel] SVN to GIT transition

Emmanuel Deloget logout at free.fr
Sun Oct 11 09:39:06 EDT 2015

Hello John,

On Sun, Oct 11, 2015 at 2:48 PM, John Crispin <blogic at openwrt.org> wrote:
> On 11/10/2015 14:09, Jan Čermák wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > thanks for pointing that out, Steven. Yes, this is basically the main reason why
> > Bedrich opened this topic. If you need to maintain sustainable OpenWrt fork (no
> > flame please, there are some situations - like running "heavyweight" OpenWrt
> > fork on a device like our Turris - when it's reasonable to fork), pure Git is
> > the way to go.
> although i see the point, out of tree fork have never been relevant to
> any core decision makings

Well, if all your users are using git, it can become at least a bit relevant :)

> > When you have a fork based on some trunk version, it's not *that hard* to merge
> > upstream changes from time to time, but if you want to base your system on some
> > stable branch and then upgrade to a newer one, getting back the history of
> > changes between versions gets pretty awkward.
> indeed
> > IMHO the main argument against Git over SVN here is that users would lose the
> > information that'll help them to compare which version is newer. But as Atilla
> > and Bruno said - git describe works maybe even better than just an incrementing
> > revision number. Maybe it'd be needed to change a some of the workflow, but the
> > pros of git (for us mainly: keeping the track of history and merging upstream
> > changes) outweigh the cons.
> essentially the same point as above
> > Last but not least - Git has become a de-facto standard for larger projects with
> > more contributors and the it helps to open the project to community - sending a
> > patch to the mailing list (a patch that sometimes just lies there without any
> > positive nor negative response for weeks) might discourage smaller contributors.
> > Just look at the situation of openwrt-packages - the people became much more
> > active since moving the repo to GitHub.
> patches will linger in mailing list until someone has time to look at
> them. the version control system used is completely irrelevant

I'm not sure about that. Git offer the possibility to have
non-committer maintainers that
can take control of a large part of the tree (for example, a few specific mips
architectures). This will limit the burden on the committers which
would then take pull
requests from sub-maintainers. As a consequence, proposed patches may
arrive in the
main tree faster than today (where some patches lies on one ML for days or month
when noone has the time to review and commit them).

I might be wrong, but it seems to me that the OpenWRT community is
bigger than ever.
I've been following the project from some time now, and I feel there
is some traction here.
Changing the SCM now might help in the near future - where the number
of potential
contributors will outnumber the number of commiters by a far margin.
Changing to git
now will prevent svn to get in the way in the future.

> to sum up, people want to have the history inside the branches ?

Yes, for sure. The also want to create their own branch from an
existing branch and
merge some important changes that happened on the master branch - for example to
use a newer version of some particular package, or to apply a kernel
patch they need.
They want to know what was applied on a particular branch (because following the
ML is not something everybody has the time to do, unfortunately). OpenWRT is no
longer a small thing that people use on their own personnal router. Its also a
distribution that companies uses to build firmwares for their consumer
products (we
do that at SFR on the 9box). Following and integrating OpenWRT changes is part
of my day to day job, and I must admit that a correct git repository - with the
corresponding tagged releases and branches are present - would be immensly


-- Emmanuel Deloget

(P.S. this mail represent my personnal views, not the view of my employer).
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