[Python-Dev] Commit messages: please avoid temporal ambiguity

Ned Batchelder ned at nedbatchelder.com
Mon May 9 20:36:44 CEST 2011

On 5/9/2011 1:24 PM, Terry Reedy wrote:
> A commit (push) partition time and behavior into before and after 
> (with a short change period in between during which behavior is 
> undefined).
> Some commit messages have the form 'x does y'. Does 'does' mean before 
> or after? Sometimes that is clear. 'x crashes' means before. 'x return 
> correct value' means after. But some messages of this type are unclear 
> to me as written.
> Consider 'x raises exception'? The temporal reference is obvious to 
> the committer but not necessary to everyone else. It could mean 'x 
> used to segfault and now raises a catchable exception'. There was a 
> fix like this (with a clear message) just today. It could also mean 'x 
> used to raise but now return an answer. There have been many fixes 
> like this.
> Two minimal fixes are 'x raised exception' or 'make x raise exception'.
I've always favored "X now properly raises an exception."


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