observation on ch 4

Ben Collins-Sussman sussman at red-bean.com
Sat Aug 6 18:21:02 CDT 2005

On Aug 5, 2005, at 1:24 PM, Robert P. J. Day wrote:

>   just a personal opinion but i think it would have made more sense to
> have the section "The Key Concept Behind Merging" earlier before
> getting into specific examples.
>   the idea that a merge operation incorporates three pieces of
> information would seem to be pretty important and it would be a handy
> reference for every example to come after that.

I think I disagree here.  Merging is first introduced with a single  
example, which jibes with the tutorial-esque nature of the chapter.   
That section is immediately followed by a top-down overview ("The key  
concept behind merging").  All the other examples/discussions of  
merging then come afterwards.

As usual, it's hard to find a delicate balance between those people  
who learn 'top down' (by reading the theory first) versus those who  
learn 'bottom up' (by reading examples first.)  I think that if we  
started the merging section with pure theory, it would be very  
unfriendly to the bottom-up learners.  I think the current ordering  
strikes a good balance:  the top-down theory comes fairly early in  
the section, but only after an initial example.

Am I making sense?

More information about the svnbook-dev mailing list