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From Geir Magnusson Jr <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: [classlib] String is special
Date Thu, 20 Apr 2006 18:40:21 GMT


Archie Cobbs wrote:
> Etienne Gagnon wrote:
>> Tim Ellison wrote:
>>> Not really.  I can add the warning, but I was looking for a way to
>>> ensure people did not mistakenly change String or did not read the
>>> doc/dev list.  By failing people's commit and making them explicitly
>>> acquire the token first they have to know what they are doing.
>>
>> So, you should investigate a pre-commit script based approach.  For
>> example, you could require a harmony:string-revision property on the
>> String.java file.  The pre-commit script would check that any commit
>> increases this revision by one; if not, then an explicit (custom) error
>> message can be given.
> 
> I kindof agree with Etienne.. it seems like you are preemptively trying
> to solve a problem that hasn't occurred yet (which is another one of
> those root-of-all-evil kind of things).
> 
> Why not just put a warning in String.java, and then, if people turn out
> to be too hard-headed to heed it, bring in harder enforcement later.
> As with all open-source projects, if people aren't already being reasonable
> and communicating in the first place, then we'll have larger problems.

While I understand Tim's motivation, and I'm scared of the same thing, 
I'm also not a fan of this, although I'm tired and want to give it more 
consideration.

The warning won't won't solve the issue that Tim's trying to solve (as I 
understand it) That someone might *accidentally* patch String, a problem 
a warning won't help with.  It will serve as a useful reminder for those 
of us that are 'recall challenged' like me.

Again, I'll think more, but my first reaction is to

1) Remind people

2) put a warning

3) Lock down function and behavior tightly with tests - that if 
modified, tests will break, and that should raise an alarm to the committer.

Being able to grok and agree to this is a requirement around here, and 
will be more so in the future.

geir


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