[darcs-users] Repository browser (was: Moving toward 1.0)

David Roundy droundy at abridgegame.org
Tue Nov 25 13:25:54 UTC 2003

On Mon, Nov 24, 2003 at 07:13:03PM -0800, Kevin Smith wrote:
> David Roundy wrote:
> >On Sun, Nov 23, 2003 at 03:09:00PM -0500, Sean E. Russell wrote:
> >
> >>Can you define the requirements for this browsing system?  What do you
> >>want it to be able to do... 
> I imagine this as an interactive app, where you are always viewing your
> repository as it existed right after a particular patch.

Similar functionality can be available either as an interactive app or via
a web browser.  For the moment I'm focusing on the web browser browsing
option, since it is a bit easier (and approximately equally important).
Fortunately, the same information is needed for both purposes, so working
on one will benefit the other.

> Anyway, I am "announcing" my project now because it already includes much
> of the functionality needed to build a repository browser. It seems like
> it wouldn't be very difficult to build a browser on top of my core
> classes that would accomplish most of what David asked for.

Althought that would be nice to have, it is still important for darcs
proper to support a browsing option in order to know that the darcs
interface exports sufficient information to create such a browser.
e.g. ViewCVS integration looks like a pain so I won't be working on that,
but the ViewCVS developers should be able to do so without writing any
haskell (or Ruby).

> Although writing the browser would slightly delay my real goal of 
> creating an alternate darcs implementation, it is appealing to me for a 
> few reasons:
> 1. It would create real value for real users earlier
> 2. It would allow me (and others) to safely gain confidence in my code
> 3. Most of the functionality would be needed anyway
> 4. It would be an excuse to use wxRuby (see below)
> 5. It would be a nice tool to help my own development

It definitely sounds like a good idea.  Properly parsing and applying darcs
patches is not at all easy, and browsing a repository is a good rigorous
test of your code.  Also, once you have the browser written, emulating at
least some of the output options of darcs annotate (once it's done) should
be pretty easy, which would allow for rigorous comparisons of your code
with mine, which would be very nice.
David Roundy

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