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serial lines -- a proposal

From: Peter Simons
Subject: serial lines -- a proposal
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 2009 22:51:59 +0100

Hi guys,

I've committed a small script,, that might allow us to provide
reliable serial numbers for all our macros automatically. To try it out, just

  ./ m4/*.m4

The serial number assigned to a given m4 file corresponds to the number of
commits that modified that particular file. Consequently, *every* modification
results in a serial number bump. It's trivial to integrate that script into the
Archive's build process. Come release time, that would guarantee reliable
version information in every m4 file.

Personally, I feel that this approach is good enough(tm) for all practical
purposes. There is one conceivable scenario, though, that might spell trouble
for this scheme. Imagine that someone downloads a macro, modifies it, and
re-releases that file using a serial number that's a *lot* higher than the one
we used. If we'd import those changes back into the Archive, then our scheme
would end up assigning the file serial numbers that are lower. Consequently,
aclocal would falsely refuse to update that macro.

Anyway, if you have a minute, please let me know how you feel about this

Take care,

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