Don't do it then
Posted May 29, 2008 9:24 UTC (Thu) by khim
In reply to: Creating a Proper Path for Clean-up Patches
Parent article: Getting the right kind of contributions
If reformatting of the patch is such a big part of it that it's hard to understand what the patch is actually doing - then drop the reformatting part. It's as simple as that. Formatting patches are bad. We once hired some guy and asked him to add small functionality to the program. It was supposed to be week or two of work. He took month and at the end we've got requested functionality and... patch which changes 90% of code to make it adhere to coding standards. It was the last month this guy worked for us: the work was redode by someone else.
The rule of thumb is simple: you must be ready to answer for all lines your patch touches. You are "owner" of said lines after patch is applied (most VCS will allow you to find such owners). And answer like "I've only moved this two whitespaces right" does not count: you should genuinely understand this code. If you can do it - feel free to reformat code. If you don't have interest or time - leave the code as is!
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