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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

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.

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)

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