Review of Chapter 4: Branching and Merging
C. Michael Pilato
cmpilato at red-bean.com
Sat Feb 24 15:57:18 CST 2007
Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:
> Question: in the 'undoing changes' section, which shows a reverse
> merge like -r88:87, should I use the slightly obtuse 'reverse change'
> notation of '-c -88' ? I fear that may cause confusion, and might be
> better left for the command reference section.
You could always show both. It's a great, practical way of
demonstrating the "negated revision" use of --change (-c).
>> "they're the classic sign of driver error." I suspect the tendency of
>> Windows users is to interpret "driver error" as something entirely
>> different than what you mean. Let's avoid this jargon.
> Sure, I changed it to 'user' error instead. (But c'mon, you seriously
> think a windows user is going to think we suddenly started talking
> about hardware drivers in the middle of this chapter? :-) People
> have better context-processors than you give them credit for.)
No, I don't *really* think that. But "driver error", I think, is maybe
just barely on the far side of the Obscure Jargon Phrases lines.
>> "A lesser-known fact about Subversion is that it lacks "true renames" —
>> the svn move command is nothing more than an aggregation of svn copy and
>> svn delete." While it is true that we don't have "true renames",
>> dropping that piece of terminology like that without a suitable
>> explanation of what you mean is somewhat pointless. (And besides, I
>> don't think it's a lesser-known fact to folks that use the operation.
>> Further, if it *is* a lesser-known fact, it's because the Subversion
>> developer community obscures it when we brag that we have support for
>> moves when, in fact, we have merely a close approximation of such
> OK, I've removed the phrase 'true renames', so as to not make users
> wonder what that phrase means (and begin speculating wildly). I *do*
> still have to say that 'mv == cp + rm', however.
Oh, absolutely! (Sorry, I had meant to explicit +1 that portion of your
>> "The Subversion project has plans, however, to someday implement a
>> command that would accomplish the task of permanently deleting
>> information." Objection, Your Honor -- heresay.
> It's not heresay, it's been discussed to death a thousand times. It's
> in the issue tracker. People have worked on the problem many times
> and backed away in frustration (including you!). It's such a hot
> issue, we have users endlessly writing nagging comments in the issue
> tracker to finish it... they're even volunteering to help. I've never
> seen a single svn developer object to the idea, in fact... *everyone*
> wants it, and hasn't been able to make it happen yet. It's so highly
> regarded, in fact, that it's on everyone's 'to do' list for svn 2.0
> (assuming we can't make it happen in 1.x).
> That's not 'heresay', that's the "community actively struggling for
> years on the problem." It's exactly what the text says: that the
> community 'has plans' to make it happen.
Eh. What the Subversion community has done thus far is talk about how
hard the problem is, and from there any semblance of a roadmap toward
the solving the problem is accompanied by frantically waving hands. But
you're right, obliterate is a pretty seriously considered feature
request. I'll concede on this one.
> Ah yes, thanks, I remember this TODO. I've changed the title to
> "Traversing Branches". if you have better suggestions, I'm all ears.
I can't think of a *short* title. :-) "Pointing Your Working Copy at a
Different Repository URL" feels ... wordy.
> Sometimes the 'long story' format works best, particularly when the
> concepts themselves build on each other. All of our chapters sort of
> skim the line between 'story' and 'reference', and this one tends to
> be more on the story-end of the scale. If someone has no experience
> with branches and tags, they can't just figure them out by opening
> chapter 4 to a random section and skimming... I can't imagine this
> chapter ever as a reference. This is one of those topics that really
> requires focused long-form reading and absorbtion of concepts.
Yeah, I agree. I think it's an exception to the rule in this way -- the
concepts pretty much demand it.
C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato at red-bean.com>
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has
been found difficult; and left untried." -- G. K. Chesterton
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