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From: Brandon Williams <bmwill@google.com>
To: Stefan Beller <sbeller@google.com>
Cc: git@vger.kernel.org, jrnieder@gmail.com, gitster@pobox.com, jonathantanmy@google.com
Subject: Re: [PATCHv2] submodules: overhaul documentation
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:46:59 -0700
Message-ID: <20170622174659.GA124061@google.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20170620225650.7573-1-sbeller@google.com>

On 06/20, Stefan Beller wrote:
> This patch aims to detangle (a) the usage of `git-submodule`
> from (b) the concept of submodules and (c) how the actual
> implementation looks like, such as where they are configured
> and (d) what the best practices are.
> 
> To do so, move the conceptual parts of the 'git-submodule'
> man page to a new man page gitsubmodules(7). This new page
> is just like gitmodules(5), gitattributes(5), gitcredentials(7),
> gitnamespaces(7), gittutorial(7), which introduce a concept
> rather than explaining a specific command.
> 
> Signed-off-by: Stefan Beller <sbeller@google.com>
> ---
> 
> I have considered most of the feedback, and stopped marking it RFC,
> but I'd like to propose this as a serious patch.
> 
> Thanks,
> Stefan
> 
>  Documentation/Makefile          |   1 +
>  Documentation/git-rm.txt        |   4 +-
>  Documentation/git-submodule.txt |  44 +++-------
>  Documentation/gitsubmodules.txt | 189 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>  4 files changed, 202 insertions(+), 36 deletions(-)
>  create mode 100644 Documentation/gitsubmodules.txt
> 
> diff --git a/Documentation/Makefile b/Documentation/Makefile
> index b5be2e2d3f..2415e0d657 100644
> --- a/Documentation/Makefile
> +++ b/Documentation/Makefile
> @@ -31,6 +31,7 @@ MAN7_TXT += giteveryday.txt
>  MAN7_TXT += gitglossary.txt
>  MAN7_TXT += gitnamespaces.txt
>  MAN7_TXT += gitrevisions.txt
> +MAN7_TXT += gitsubmodules.txt
>  MAN7_TXT += gittutorial-2.txt
>  MAN7_TXT += gittutorial.txt
>  MAN7_TXT += gitworkflows.txt
> diff --git a/Documentation/git-rm.txt b/Documentation/git-rm.txt
> index f1efc116eb..db444693dd 100644
> --- a/Documentation/git-rm.txt
> +++ b/Documentation/git-rm.txt
> @@ -152,8 +152,8 @@ Ignored files are deemed expendable and won't stop a submodule's work
>  tree from being removed.
>  
>  If you only want to remove the local checkout of a submodule from your
> -work tree without committing the removal,
> -use linkgit:git-submodule[1] `deinit` instead.
> +work tree without committing the removal, use linkgit:git-submodule[1] `deinit`
> +instead. Also see linkgit:gitsubmodules[7] for details on submodule removal.
>  
>  EXAMPLES
>  --------
> diff --git a/Documentation/git-submodule.txt b/Documentation/git-submodule.txt
> index 74bc6200d5..9ffd129bbc 100644
> --- a/Documentation/git-submodule.txt
> +++ b/Documentation/git-submodule.txt
> @@ -24,37 +24,7 @@ DESCRIPTION
>  -----------
>  Inspects, updates and manages submodules.
>  
> -A submodule allows you to keep another Git repository in a subdirectory
> -of your repository. The other repository has its own history, which does not
> -interfere with the history of the current repository. This can be used to
> -have external dependencies such as third party libraries for example.
> -
> -When cloning or pulling a repository containing submodules however,
> -these will not be checked out by default; the 'init' and 'update'
> -subcommands will maintain submodules checked out and at
> -appropriate revision in your working tree.
> -
> -Submodules are composed from a so-called `gitlink` tree entry
> -in the main repository that refers to a particular commit object
> -within the inner repository that is completely separate.
> -A record in the `.gitmodules` (see linkgit:gitmodules[5]) file at the
> -root of the source tree assigns a logical name to the submodule and
> -describes the default URL the submodule shall be cloned from.
> -The logical name can be used for overriding this URL within your
> -local repository configuration (see 'submodule init').
> -
> -Submodules are not to be confused with remotes, which are other
> -repositories of the same project; submodules are meant for
> -different projects you would like to make part of your source tree,
> -while the history of the two projects still stays completely
> -independent and you cannot modify the contents of the submodule
> -from within the main project.
> -If you want to merge the project histories and want to treat the
> -aggregated whole as a single project from then on, you may want to
> -add a remote for the other project and use the 'subtree' merge strategy,
> -instead of treating the other project as a submodule. Directories
> -that come from both projects can be cloned and checked out as a whole
> -if you choose to go that route.
> +For more information about submodules, see linkgit:gitsubmodules[7].
>  
>  COMMANDS
>  --------
> @@ -149,15 +119,17 @@ deinit [-f|--force] (--all|[--] <path>...)::
>  	tree. Further calls to `git submodule update`, `git submodule foreach`
>  	and `git submodule sync` will skip any unregistered submodules until
>  	they are initialized again, so use this command if you don't want to
> -	have a local checkout of the submodule in your working tree anymore. If
> -	you really want to remove a submodule from the repository and commit
> -	that use linkgit:git-rm[1] instead.
> +	have a local checkout of the submodule in your working tree anymore.
>  +
>  When the command is run without pathspec, it errors out,
>  instead of deinit-ing everything, to prevent mistakes.
>  +
>  If `--force` is specified, the submodule's working tree will
>  be removed even if it contains local modifications.
> ++
> +If you really want to remove a submodule from the repository and commit
> +that use linkgit:git-rm[1] instead. See linkgit:gitsubmodules[7] for removal
> +options.
>  
>  update [--init] [--remote] [-N|--no-fetch] [--[no-]recommend-shallow] [-f|--force] [--checkout|--rebase|--merge] [--reference <repository>] [--depth <depth>] [--recursive] [--jobs <n>] [--] [<path>...]::
>  +
> @@ -435,6 +407,10 @@ This file should be formatted in the same way as `$GIT_DIR/config`. The key
>  to each submodule url is "submodule.$name.url".  See linkgit:gitmodules[5]
>  for details.
>  
> +SEE ALSO
> +--------
> +linkgit:gitsubmodules[7], linkgit:gitmodules[5].
> +
>  GIT
>  ---
>  Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite
> diff --git a/Documentation/gitsubmodules.txt b/Documentation/gitsubmodules.txt
> new file mode 100644
> index 0000000000..80e71ff55c
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/gitsubmodules.txt
> @@ -0,0 +1,189 @@
> +gitsubmodules(7)
> +================
> +
> +NAME
> +----
> +gitsubmodules - mounting one repository inside another
> +
> +SYNOPSIS
> +--------
> +.gitmodules, $GIT_DIR/config
> +------------------
> +git submodule
> +git <command> --recurse-submodules
> +------------------
> +
> +DESCRIPTION
> +-----------
> +
> +A submodule is another Git repository tracked inside a repository.
> +The tracked repository has its own history, which does not
> +interfere with the history of the current repository.
> +
> +It consists of a tracking subdirectory in the working directory,
> +a 'gitlink' in the working tree and an entry in the `.gitmodules`
> +file (see linkgit:gitmodules[5]) at the root of the source tree.
> +
> +The tracking subdirectory appears in the main repositorys working

s/repositorys/repository's

> +tree at the point where the submodules gitlink is tracked in the

s/submodules/submodule's

> +tree.  It is empty when the submodule is not populated, otherwise
> +it contains the content of the submodule repository.
> +The main repository is often referred to as superproject.

maybe: "referred to as a superproject"

> +
> +The gitlink contains the object name of a particular commit
> +of the submodule.
> +
> +The `.gitmodules` file establishes a relationship between the
> +path, which is where the gitlink is in the tree, and the logical
> +name, which is used for the location of the submodules git

s/submodules/submodule's

> +directory. The `.gitmodules` file has the same syntax as the
> +$Git_DIR/config file and the mapping of path to name
> +is done via setting `submodule.<name value>.path = <path value>`.
> +
> +The submodules git directory is found in in the main repositories

s/submodules/submodule's
s/repositories/repository's

> +'$GIT_DIR/modules/<name>' or inside the tracking subdirectory.

Well I'd say that the preferred place is inside the main repo's gitdir,
(as in the normal location) but this is correct.

> +
> +Submodules can be used for at least two different use cases:
> +
> +1. Using another project while maintaining independent history.
> +  Submodules allow you to contain the working tree of another project
> +  within your own working tree while keeping the history of both
> +  projects separate. Also, since submodules are fixed to a an arbitrary
> +  version, the other project can be independently developed without
> +  affecting the superproject, allowing the superproject project to
> +  fix itself to new versions only whenever desired.
> +
> +2. Splitting a (logically single) project into multiple
> +   repositories and tying them back together. This can be used to
> +   overcome current limitations of Gits implementation to have
> +   finer grained access:
> +
> +* Size of the git repository
> +  In its current form Git scales up poorly for very large repositories that
> +  change a lot, as the history grows very large.
> +  However you can also use submodules to e.g. hold large binary assets
> +  and these repositories are then shallowly cloned such that you do not
> +  have a large history locally.
> +
> +* Transfer size
> +  In its current form Git requires the whole working tree present. It
> +  does not allow partial trees to be transferred in fetch or clone.
> +
> +* Access control
> +  By restricting user access to submodules, this can be used to implement
> +  read/write policies for different users.
> +
> +The configuration of submodules
> +-------------------------------
> +
> +Submodule operations can be configured using the following mechanisms
> +(from highest to lowest precedence):
> +
> + * the command line for those commands that support taking submodule specs.
> +
> + * the configuration file `$GIT_DIR/config` in the superproject.
> +
> + * the `.gitmodules` file inside the superproject. A project usually
> +   includes this file to suggest defaults for the upstream collection
> +   of repositories.

I dislike this last point.  Realistically we don't want this right?  So
perhaps we shouldn't include it?

> +
> +On the location of the git directory
> +------------------------------------
> +
> +Since v1.7.7 of Git, the git directory of submodules is either stored inside
> +the superprojects git directory at $GIT_DIR/modules/<submodule-name> or
> +in the submodule.
> +The location inside the superproject allows for the working tree to be
> +non existent while keeping the history around. So we can delete a submodule

s/submodule/submodule's

> +working tree without losing information that may only be local. It is also
> +possible to checkout the superproject before and after the deletion of the
> +submodule without the need to reclone the submodule as it is kept locally.
> +
> +Workflow for a third party library
> +----------------------------------
> +
> +  # add the submodule
> +  git submodule add <url> <path>
> +
> +  # occasionally update the submodule to a new version:
> +  git -C <path> checkout <new version>
> +  git add <path>
> +  git commit -m "update submodule to new version"
> +
> +  # see the discussion below on deleting submodules
> +
> +
> +Workflow for an artifically split repo
> +--------------------------------------
> +
> +  # Enable recursion for relevant commands, such that
> +  # regular commands recurse into submodules by default
> +  git config --global submodule.recurse true
> +
> +  # Unlike the other commands below clone still needs
> +  # its own recurse flag:
> +  git clone --recurse <URL> <directory>
> +  cd <directory>
> +
> +  # Get to know the code:
> +  git grep foo
> +  git ls-files
> +
> +  # Get new code
> +  git fetch
> +  git pull --rebase
> +
> +  # change worktree
> +  git checkout
> +  git reset
> +
> +Deleting a submodule
> +--------------------
> +
> +Deleting a submodule can happen on different levels:
> +
> +1) Removing it from the local working tree without tampering with
> +   the history of the superproject.
> +
> +You may no longer need the submodule, but still want to keep it recorded
> +in the superproject history as others may have use for it. The command

s/superproject/superproject's

> +`git submodule deinit <submodule path>` will remove any configuration
> +entries from the config file, such that the submodule becomes
> +uninitialized. The tracking directory in the superprojects working

Do we want to use the term 'active' instead of un/initialized?  Unless
you intend for these to mean different things.

> +tree that holds the submodules working directory is emptied.
> +This step can be undone via `git submodule init`.
> +
> +2) Remove it from history:

I'd argue that this doesn't remove the submodule from history, it still
exists in the history.

> +--
> +   git rm <submodule path>
> +   git commit
> +--
> +This removes the submodules gitlink from the superprojects tree, as well
> +as removing the entries from the `.gitmodules` file, but keeps the
> +local configuration for the submodule. This can be undone using `git revert`.
> +
> +
> +3) Remove the submodules git directory:

s/submodules/submodule's

> +
> +When you also want to free up the disk space that the submodules git
> +directory uses, you have to delete it manually as this
> +step cannot be undone using git tools. It is found in `$GIT_DIR/modules`.
> +
> +Implementation details
> +----------------------
> +
> +When cloning or pulling a repository containing submodules the submodules
> +will not be checked out by default; You can instruct 'clone' to recurse
> +into submodules. The 'init' and 'update' subcommands of 'git submodule'
> +will maintain submodules checked out and at an appropriate revision in
> +your working tree. Alternatively you can set 'submodule.recurse' to have
> +'checkout' recursing into submodules.
> +
> +
> +SEE ALSO
> +--------
> +linkgit:git-submodule[1], linkgit:gitmodules[5].
> +
> +GIT
> +---
> +Part of the linkgit:git[1] suite
> -- 
> 2.12.2.575.gb14f27f917
> 

-- 
Brandon Williams

  parent reply index

Thread overview: 17+ messages in thread (expand / mbox.gz / Atom feed / [top])
2017-06-07 18:53 [RFC/PATCH] " Stefan Beller
2017-06-13 19:29 ` Junio C Hamano
2017-06-13 21:06   ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-19 18:10     ` Brandon Williams
2017-06-20 21:42       ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-20 18:18 ` Jonathan Tan
2017-06-20 19:15   ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-20 22:56 ` [PATCHv2] " Stefan Beller
2017-06-21  3:45   ` Jonathan Tan
2017-06-21 17:25     ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-22 17:46   ` Brandon Williams [this message]
2017-06-22 18:54     ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-22 20:20     ` Junio C Hamano
2017-06-22 20:27       ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-22 21:03         ` Brandon Williams
2017-06-22 21:09           ` Stefan Beller
2017-06-22 21:01   ` [PATCHv3] " Stefan Beller

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