The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Status versus log

Many people - e.g. the people who want me to edit version control history - really want a status, rather than a log.

A log tends to record diffs. Deltas. Changes, What I did or am doing.

A log message for a version control system tends to describe what has changed between this and the last.

Note that a version control log is less complete than a human log.  A human log may describe what you tried, but which failed, and which you did not commit.  Sometimes I think it is as important to record that, as it is to record what worked well enough to release.

Oftentimes what people really want is a status.  "Here's the state of the project - this works, this does not".

Note that in a human log, sometimes you may step back and write a status.

Tools like hg bisect really want a status.  E.h. hg bisect only wants to attempt to test on versions that are known good - good enough to have run some sort of test in the past.

Statuses change.  "Passes all tests" may become false, if more tests are added.

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