[Python-Dev] New workflow change: Welcome to blurb
larry at hastings.org
Fri Jun 23 23:24:05 EDT 2017
One minor but ongoing problem we've had in CPython core development has
been the mess of updating Misc/NEWS. Day-to-day developers may have a
conflict if they lose a push race, which means a little editing. You'll
have a similar, if slightly worse, problem when cherry-picking a fix
between versions. Worst of all used to be the manual merges necessary
after cutting a release--this was the bane of a CPython release
manager's existence. (Though the new git-based workflow may have
obviated the worst of this.)
The real problem is that we have one central file that everybody
continually edits in a haphazard way. We aren't actually editing the
same information, we aren't actually changing the same lines. But our
revision control systems and diff algorithms don't understand the
structure of Misc/NEWS and so they get confused. And for what? It's not
like there's a tremendous benefit to having this central file everyone's
We've been talking about addressing this for years. Fixing this was one
of the goals of the new workflow. And finally, as of right now, the
future is here. Ladies and gentlemen, I present: blurb.
blurb is an interactive command-line tool that helps you write Misc/NEWS
entries. You simply run blurb from anywhere inside a CPython repo.
blurb runs an editor for you with a template open. You fill in these
three pieces of information:
* the bugs.python.org or "bpo" issue number,
* what "section" of Misc/NEWS this entry should go in (by uncommenting
the correct line), and
* the text of the Misc/NEWS entry, in ReST format.
You save and exit and you're done. blurb even stages the Misc/NEWS
entry in git for you!
Behind the scenes, blurb writes your information here:
The "<section-name>" is the name of the section in Misc/NEWS where your
entry should go. <filename> contains the current date and time, the bpo
number, and a nonce to prevent collisions.
These "next" files get merged together into a single aggregate .rst file
by the release manager when cutting a release (using "blurb release").
One nice feature of this approach: when you cherry-pick a change, its
Misc/NEWS entry in "next" gets cherry-picked along with it.
One important change: Misc/NEWS will no longer be checked in. It'll
still be present in CPython tarballs; it will be generated by the
release manager as part of cutting a release. But as a repository of
information, it's been superseded by the various blurb data files. And
by regenerating it from data files, we ensure that we'll never ever have
a Misc/NEWS conflict ever again!
The plan is to leave Misc/NEWS in the CPython repo for maybe another
week, to let the current crop of PRs get merged. But new work should
switch to using blurb immediately.
You can install blurb from pip:
% pip3.6 install blurb
In fact--please do!
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