Re: Those ruddy punctuation fixes

Martin J. Bligh (
Thu, 06 Mar 2003 19:33:33 -0800

>> Wait, this sounds like a conversation with the Mafia:
>> "Pay us protection money."
>> "Why do we need to pay you for protection?"
>> "So we can protect you from criminals like ourselves."
> That's a ridiculous comparison and it weakens your argument. Leaving a

Reductio ad absurdum is often enlightening.

> potential problem in place rather than fixing it as I did would be the
> passive-aggressive approach, not the other way around.

But that's not exactly what you're doing - you're replacing one
(very small) problem with another (very real) problem, the breakage
of people's patches. Fixing up patches because of spelling
errors is a total waste of developer's time.

>> I'd rather solve this problem by making standalone spelling fixes and
>> other cosmetic changes taboo. Cosmetic changes combined with actual
>> useful code changes are fine with me. If you're risking breaking the
>> build, there should be some benefit that justifies the risk.
> Breaking the build is a low probability (many hundreds of fixes and one
> build break AFAIK) and low consequence failure (a build fix of that
> nature is obvious and quickly and easily done).

Breaking the build is indeed a low probability (assuming you compile
test your tree). Breaking other people's patches is a high probablility.

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