[darcs-users] Command renamings and hide/show

Aggelos Economopoulos aoiko at cc.ece.ntua.gr
Sat May 15 00:15:10 UTC 2004

On Friday 14 May 2004 19:21, Kevin Smith wrote:
> Aggelos Economopoulos wrote:
> > <rant>
> > Guys, cvs is _crap_. It's the DOS of version control systems. Its
> > interface stinks. I have to put up with it every day, I don't want to use
> > anything like it for my personal projects.
> > </rant>
> Absolutely. cvs _is_ crap. We should not turn darcs into cvs.
> <myrant>
> ...However, cvs is what many (most?) people are used to. If the
> transition from cvs to darcs is *too* painful (see "arch"), people will
> stick with cvs, even though they hate it.

I can see a couple of flaws in these statements.

i) You just can't compare darcs with arch (wrt. usability and 
user-friendliness). Darcs has much fewer (and saner) commands, imposes no 
ridiculous naming conventions, has pretty good and up-to-date docs and >1 
signal/noise ratio on its mailing list.

ii) Just because people are used to cvs doesn't mean they'll have problems 
understanding new concepts. Look at bitkeeper - doesn't bear much resemblance 
to cvs, yet quite a few projects use it and not many users seem to find 
difficulties (just check the lkml archives back when Linus adopted bitkeeper 
- hehe ;-))

The way I see it, the problem with trying to support people switching from cvs 
has to do more with the fact that switching is inherently painful and less 
with darcs being somehow 'alien'.

> For better or worse, cvs is *the* point of reference. These days, if you
> are writing a word processor, you look to MS Word as the default way of
> doing things, and deviate only when you are sure your way is better.
> Word may (or may not) suck, but people know it, and are comfortable with
> it.
> Anyway, my goal is for darcs to be _easy_ and _logical_. Unfortunately,
> "easy" has *some* overlap with "similar to cvs", for me and others.

Hey, I'm not suggesting we ask David to rename 'add' because cvs is using it 
8). I'm all for making darcs friendlier and/or easier (though I doubt there's 
much left to be done until 1.0), regardless of whether it means cvs-like 
behaviour or not. However, the suggestions I'm seeing don't seem to simplify 
anything while they seem heavily influenced by cvs. And that's disturbing to 
say the least.


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