[Buildroot] [PATCH] docs/manual: using a branch name as FPP_VERSION does not work

Yann E. MORIN yann.morin.1998 at free.fr
Fri May 11 16:03:09 UTC 2018

Ricardo, All,

On 2018-05-10 23:59 -0300, Ricardo Martincoski spake thusly:
> TL;DR: I agree with your change to the manual, but I have some nitpick for your
> explanation.

Thanks for the feedback. :-)  I've sent an updated version that, I hope,
should address all your concerns.

Yann E. MORIN.

> On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 01:43 PM, Yann E. MORIN wrote:
> > docs/manual: using a branch name as FPP_VERSION does not work
> s/FPP/FOO/
> > For various reasons, we've always suggested users to avoid using a
> > branch as version string for their packages, because it does not work
> > as a they would expect:
> OK.
> >   - it is not reproducible, because the branch may change between two
> >     builds that are done at different times;
> OK.
> >   - it does not even follow the branch, as Buildroot anyway generates
> >     a local tarball.
> It does not follow the branch because:
> 1) Buildroot reuses any local tarball it already generated;
> 2) with the tarballs for the package removed, when a remote branch was once
>    checked out by the git download infra (by chance, see below) it creates a
>    local branch. When the remote adds a commit to the branch, the download infra
>    fetches the new commits updating origin/branch but the local branch is not
>    updated.
> > Yet, until recently, using a branch name would just work (with the
> > above limitations): the git tree was cloned, the branch checked out,
> > and the tarball created.
> > 
> > But with the advent of the git caching, using a branch name does not
> > work anymore.
> It does not work ... in a reliable way.
> Actually it works *by chance* due to fetch for the special ref. Yes, once again.
> I just realized I have to update again my series adding automated tests for the
> git download infra as it should not test named branches or named feature
> branches anymore. BTW those tests pass because I did not used 'master'.
> If you remove the code for named special refs then the behavior is consistent: a
> named branch or named feature branch never works.
> Well, unless someone is crazy enough to prepend the branch name with 'origin/'
> in the _VERSION variable. I don't think we should add more complexity to the
> script to prevent this.
> > work anymore. Indeed, we now do a git-fetch, and that does not create
> > local branches. So we can't check out a branch, because it does not
> > exist locally.
> Actually the local branch is created on checkout.
> With an empty git cache the only branch that does not work is 'master'.
> For example, if you first download dl-tools using its current version (a tag)
> and then change _VERSION to 'master' and download again it works (by chance as
> describe above).
> Starting with an empty git cache and _VERSION set to 'master' does not work
> because the 'git rev-parse' fails.
> Also using an empty git cache and _VERSION set to 'topic/blockdev' does work
> (again by chance).
> > Update the manual to state that using a branch does not work. Remove
> It does not work for git. CVS branch probably still works (I did not tested).
> But maybe... we don't care: too much details for the manual. The end game is to
> discourage the use of branches as it is not good practice, if some kinds of
> branch works by chance, then OK IMO. But Buildroot does not guarantee that
> branches work (for simplicity the manual will say it does not work), anyone can
> still exploit the infra to download a named branch at its own risk, but not for
> packages in the tree.
> > the 'stable' example, as it looked like the name of a stable branch;
> > instead, replace it with a version string that ressemble a tag.
> > 
> > Fix the layout of the manual by making the version examples an actual
> > bulleted list.
> By opening the output html in the web browser, I checked the layout is much
> nicer after this patch.
> After all the nitpicking above, I must still say: I am not against applying this
> patch after fixing when applying only the typo in the title. Anyone can search
> the mailing list for these details.
> Regards,
> Ricardo

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