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Date:	Tue, 10 Nov 2009 22:20:59 +0100
From:	Ingo Molnar <mingo@...e.hu>
To:	Chris Friesen <cfriesen@...tel.com>
Cc:	Stefan Richter <stefanr@...6.in-berlin.de>,
	James Bottomley <James.Bottomley@...senPartnership.com>,
	Greg KH <gregkh@...e.de>,
	Linus Torvalds <torvalds@...ux-foundation.org>,
	Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
	Chris Wright <chrisw@...s-sol.org>,
	linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org, Thomas Gleixner <tglx@...utronix.de>,
	"H. Peter Anvin" <hpa@...or.com>,
	Peter Zijlstra <a.p.zijlstra@...llo.nl>
Subject: Re: [RFC] new -stable tag variant, Git workflow question


* Chris Friesen <cfriesen@...tel.com> wrote:

> On 11/10/2009 09:52 AM, Stefan Richter wrote:
> 
> > More importantly, isn't this against the character of the -stable kernel
> > branches as _safe and simple_ hotfix branches?
> > 
> > If a fix has a number of prerequisites which ar not -stable fixes
> > themselves, then it is more than a hint that this fix is not really well
> > suited for -stable.
> 
> Alternately, it's conceivable that the prerequisites were not 
> in-and-of-themselves candidates for -stable (maybe they didn't do 
> anything by themselves) but when combined with the final commit the 
> overall change is suitable for inclusion in -stable.

Yeah.

The way i do it as a maintainer is that when i add a new commit that i 
realize as a -stable candidate, and i know that it has no semantic 
prereqs (such as a new API, etc.), i git-cherry-pick it into stable in a 
test branch. If that works fine i mark it -stable straight away.

If it conflicts, i figure out the prereqs, and look at those. If they 
are too big, or too risky, i often decide not to mark a patch for 
-stable backporting. (If it's not obvious to be in -stable then it 
should not be in -stable, almost by definition - a _LOT_ of people are 
using the stable kernels.)

If the prereqs look sane and are wanted for -stable, i end up with a 
list of 2 or at most 3 commits that will cherry-pick cleanly. (rarely 
more than that - the 4 commits here are really an exception - they are a 
string of prereqs that are also fixes)

I send that list of commits to stable@...nel.org.

( Sidenote: rarely does it make sense to port a conflicting commit to 
  -stable. The risks of introducing some regression are just too high. 
  Cherry-picking of commits, (while not entirely risk-free of course), 
  is far more robust in practice. (conflicting backmerges do happen too 
  occasionally, for high-profile bug fixes that justify the cost.) )

So this 'send the list to stable@...nel.org' step is simplified via 
these tags:

    Cc: <stable@...nel.org> # .32.x: a1f84a3: sched: Check for an idle shared cache
    Cc: <stable@...nel.org> # .32.x: 1b9508f: sched: Rate-limit newidle
    Cc: <stable@...nel.org> # .32.x: fd21073: sched: Fix affinity logic
    Cc: <stable@...nel.org> # .32.x

I'd have done that via a plain email in any case - so this scheme does 
not enable anything new - it just simplifies the process and makes it a 
bit more robust.

	Ingo
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