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Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV back end / Code Review Programs

From: Bake Timmons
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV back end / Code Review Programs
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 15:46:07 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Danny Clark <address@hidden> writes:

> I was thinking about the KFV process, and it dawned on me that the
> problem is very close to the standard Code Review problem - only we are
> primarily interested in few pieces of metadata, namely the license and
> if the file may contain any Binary Blobs (yes/maybe/no).
> Emacs KFV mode seems like an excellent front end to mark this metadata
> (at least for those who don't mind spending some set up time and using
> emacs), but to me the wiki seems like less than an ideal back-end data
> repository - it's not easily queryable, it doesn't do data normalization
>  or allow for constraints on data, it's not that easy to see who did
> what esp. on a larger scale, stats have to be updated manually and can
> be misleading at some points in time, concurrent editing and conflict
> merges aren't really handled, and it's not easy to make a local copy of it.
> The way I've seen of doing similar processes before (in corporate
> settings) is with a version control system that supports storing
> metadata about files, like subversion (and probably git, and I'm sure
> many others), and a code review program.
> (Q1) Is a version control program not used just because no one has had
> time to implement it, or are there arguments against it?

Lack of time has been my impression of the problem.  The wiki tables
have been a quick and easy solution, but just a first step.  I agree
with your comments and am eager to help adapt KFV Mode to a better
back end.  I would be surprised if git were not the most efficient
back end.

Moreover, I hope that this new back end could be adapted for *all*
freedom verification work, including what gNewSense started to do for
packages (PFV).  One difference between KFV and PFV is that PFV
typically involved looking not at a file of source code but at a file
of license text that covered a whole package.

> I'm not proposing either of these tools as a wholesale replacement of
> anything - I'm guessing emacs KFV mode could easily be made to interface
> with the emacs version control mode to mark changes to file's metadata
> (and thus also become much more generally useful and maybe be more
> likely to get some non-gNS people hacking on it to scratch their own
> itches).

Good suggestion.

> (Q2) Addition of an established web-based code review tool to the
> options people have when doing KFV work (in addition to kfv.el and
> manually editing the wiki.)

I am eager to learn how web-based tools might help people.  In any
case, I will continue to be concerned with making the most productive
and transparent interface for freedom verification work.

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