Revisiting tradition: branches and tags

Richard Levitte levitte at
Tue Apr 14 12:42:24 UTC 2020

On Tue, 14 Apr 2020 09:28:26 +0200,
Dr. Matthias St. Pierre wrote:
> > > Is it possible to set up alias names for the historical branches?
> > 
> > It's possible yes.  The hard part is 1.1.1.  There *is* something
> > called 'git symbolic-ref', but they can only be added in repos we have
> > physical access to, so while can add those on our git server, and they
> > will work, we cannot add them in github.
> > 
> > Ref git help symbolic-ref
> Symbolic references are *not* the right solution to the problem IMO. They are not equivalent to branches.
> Checking out a symbolic reference leaves you in the 'detached HEAD' state:
>     msp at msppc:~/src/openssl$ git symbolic-ref ossl111 refs/heads/OpenSSL_1_1_1-stable
>     msp at msppc:~/src/openssl$ cd ../openssl-1.1.1
>     msp at msppc:~/src/openssl-1.1.1$ git checkout ossl111
>     Note: switching to 'ossl111'.
>     You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental
>     changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this
>     state without impacting any branches by switching back to a branch.

Okie.  I hadn't experimented with that, so didn't know.  That manual
is fantastically unclear on what this command does too, at least the
way I read it.  I guess that's another nail in its coffin.

> The proper way to do it IMO is to create new branch and tag
> references for all the stable branches resp. release tags.
> Currently, the only old-style branch which needs to be synchronized
> is `OpenSSL_1_1_1-stable`. This could easily be done by the git
> post-receive hook on In fact, all old-style branch
> and tag references for all eol-branches could be removed
> immediately.

Good point.  The posst-update hook should be usable for this.

> We change the GitHub setup such that pull requests to stable
> branches need to be based onto the new-style branches, but keep the
> old-style stable branches in sync with the new-style branches for a
> little while.

Er...  how do you change that Github setup?  I thought it simply
showed a list of all available branches regardless.  So if we got a
duplicate set, it's going to show both, isn't it?  Considering that
the github repo is a --mirror of the repo, I'm not
sure how the old branch refs would be filtered out...

It seems to me like this discussion is splitting into two:

1)  Start with new names for 3.0 and on (I can only see positive
    responses so far, even with Matt's hesitance)
2)  Rename of the old names.

As far as I can see, those two don't have to be in absolute sync, even
though that would be desirable.  In other words, we can figure out the
details of 2 even after we've started 1.


Richard Levitte         levitte at
OpenSSL Project

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