[darcs-users] Re: Some crazy idea

Mark Stosberg mark at summersault.com
Wed Nov 17 15:40:01 UTC 2004

On 2004-11-17, David Roundy <droundy at abridgegame.org> wrote:
>> I think that a potential general solution to such problems would be an
>> option to record allowing to specify *any* patch.  One would use it like
>> this: 
>>     darcs whatsnew > file
>>     edit file
>>     darcs record --override-patch=file
>> It would probably be necessary to check that the supplied patch is
>> compatible with the repository, but the mechanism coult give a fair
>> degree of freedom. I imagine that such a simple interface would allow
>> creating very flexible GUI change select tools.
>> However, I fear it would conflict in some way with other darcs
>> mechanism, like automatic tests after records, etc.
> I think this would work fine.  Darcs can check that the patch applies
> cleanly, so it could pretty easily be made "safe".  The tests and stuff
> would all be fine, since they are done after the set of changes is
> selected.

How much value would this add, though? 

Right now you can just:

patch <your_patch.file
# resolve any issues 
# (and if there are issues to resolve by hand, that can't be avoided.
darcs record

If you have other changes you don't want to  be involved, there are
already options to record/unrecord those, or revert/unrevert them.

I would find just using 'patch' more intuitive. I'd like some more
justification of how darcs would add value here-- perhaps a specific
'use case'. 

> Another possibility (which wouldn't interact so well with gui tools) would
> be to allow the user to pop up a text editor on the files while selecting
> changes, with the text editor opening up a temporary copy of the file, so
> your changes would go into the recorded patch, but not modify the working
> directory.

This strikes me as confusing, considering this case seems to be solvable
with the current tools. 

I think darcs is better served by a small number of 'features' that
serve as easily understood building blocks to accomplish more
complicated tasks.

I'm concerned that adding many special-case tools to interface will lead 
to having a confusing array of options to learn and choose from. 


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