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SubjectRe: [Ksummit-discuss] bug-introducing patches
Willy Tarreau <> writes:

> On Fri, May 04, 2018 at 07:35:42PM -0400, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
>> On Fri, May 04, 2018 at 09:51:14PM +0000, Sasha Levin wrote:
>> > I don't have an objection to moving this to it's own tag. It will make
>> > my scripts somewhat simpler for sure.
>> It's not a matter "moving this it's own tag", but creating a new tag
>> --- because what is in the docs is a lie. It does not describe what
>> we do today. And current practice is the reality, not what is in the
>> docs.
>> As to whether we should create a new tag to support explicit
>> dependencies, I'll leave that between you and Greg K-H and the rest of
>> the stable maintainers. :-)
> Guys, *personally*, I've sometimes been a bit annoyed by the huge amount
> of irregular extra headers trying to compensate for horribly vague commit
> messages, and I'm pretty sure it pisses off patch authors who don't know
> anymore what to put in their description. We need to keep in mind that
> authors are humans and not machines, and that natural language remains
> the best to explain complex dependencies. I'd prefer to see :
> This patch needs to be backported to all stable branches that contain
> 717d3133 and 207f5b3c (that's 3.10+) or their respective backports but
> must be adapted (contact me) if only a backport of 717d3133 is present.
> Cc: stable # v3.10+
> Rather than horrible stuff like this :
> Cc: stable # v3.10+ (717d3133 && 207f5b3c) || WARN_ON(back(717d3133))
> Of course it's a bit made up, but not too far from what is being discussed
> here, probably only the next step. People will often get complex rules
> wrong, both on the producer and on the consumer side. The day we need a
> compiler to emit commit messages, we'll have to wonder if we didn't go
> too far.
> Also I've found the Fixes header pretty useful. It allows patch authors
> to mention what is being fixed without necessarily copying stable,
> because sometimes you'd rather not see your patch immediately backported
> or you think the risks are higher than the bug. And here as well, it's
> only suited for simple situations with a single commit ID, complex
> desriptions have to be part of the commit message body.
> I think that what we have now works pretty well but that some descriptions
> lack a bit of detail, especially on the impact of the bug which would help
> decide to backport or drop. This is understandable because often the person
> fixing a bug documents it for people knowing the same subsystem well. But
> when you backport fixes into other kernel versions, you don't know well
> how each subsystem works, and guessing the impact of a bug is not always
> obvious. Most of the time, authors who add Fixes: and/or Cc: stable take
> care of providing enough information, though I'd suspect that sometimes
> they're making efforts trying to figure how to place the information
> there and possibly try to avoid redundancy by writing a shorter body.
> At this point, I'm really not seeing what we're trying to improve or
> optimize, and to be honest this discussion worries me a bit, by just
> thinking that it could result in annoying changes...

So the way I use headers today is:
Fixes: sha1hash "commit subject"

I will use "Fixes: v2.0.1" if something is so old that it isn't in git.
If it was in bitkeeper and now in tglx's tree I will use:
History Tree:

Just because you won't find the commit in Linus's git tree.

I tend not to find particularly serious bugs, just ancient ones so I
generally figure if it doesn't backport easily it probably is not a
candidate for stable. The bug has existed for ages without anyone
really carring anyway.


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