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From Greg Stein <gst...@gmail.com>
Subject Git and Provenance
Date Mon, 07 Aug 2017 23:51:04 GMT
Hey all,

Just wanted to confirm my thoughts about provenance, as recorded (or
deleted!) by the git tool.

The short answer is that git, unlike svn, allows a PMC to remove certain
types of development history. The master/develop branch cannot be modified
(generally), but any development that occurs on a branch can be lost.

At least a couple forms of loss that I can think of:

1) a series of commits to a branch are "squashed" into a single commit,
then merged to master. then, the branch is deleted. we no longer have the
individual commits.

2) a branch is used to construct a release, and is later deleted.

There are likely other scenarios, but having even one is enough for my
query/discussion.

The ASF will capture email diffs and push logs of all changes made, to all
branches. These are stored in our email archives and in a push log
database. So provenance might not be stored entirely in the repository, but
we still have all the data (caveat: bugs in our recording).

I believe this is sufficient for the Foundation's needs.

Given the various bits above, the Infrastructure Team doesn't have any
plans to change things, but I felt it best to confirm/ask.

Thanks,
Greg Stein
Infrastructure Administrator, ASF


ps. IMO, we have very little need for provenance/history; in actuality,
this seems more like data for downstream users, in the event of (legal)
trouble

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