[darcs-users] Re: A couple of pre-newbie questions

Mark Stosberg mark at summersault.com
Sat Mar 5 02:53:01 UTC 2005

On 2005-03-04, Albert Reiner <areiner at tph.tuwien.ac.at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I have been using GNU Arch (Tla) for a couple of months, and it has
> left me definitely unsatisfied.  Enough to contemplate switching to
> Darcs which I find attractive for its conceptual simplicity and also
> for its use of Haskell that I happen to know and like (which is not
> true for the C languages).

Welcome. I hope you enjoy darcs. 

> - Symlinks: Is it correct that darcs does not know how to handle
>   symbolic links at all?  


> - How to deal with conflicts: This one is absolutely unclear to me:
>   say I have two patches that both want to modify the same line (and
>   are not token replacements). 

It is fine that the same line is modified several times. To have a
conflict, you would have to have multiple developers modifying the same
line in different patches at the same time. 

> What is the result of pulling both?
>   How do I know there is a problem?  How can I treat that conflict and
>   record the resolution?  Do I need some external tool for that?

It works like CVS (and perhaps tla). You are notified that there
is a conflict. Conflict markers are put the files. You resolve
the conflict by hand, remove the markers and record the result.
You don't need an external tool for that. 

> - Combining patches: Is there some way of creating one big composite
>   patch from many small ones?  E.g., while trying to work out
>   something I might make many individual changes, recording them as I
>   go along, rolling them back when I note that they don't work, etc.;
>   in the end when I have something that works, however, I would not
>   want to conserve all those intermediate stages and the full history
>   of my search but rather only record their combination.

Several options for this have been discussed in the past. My favorite
one is being worked on now: Allowing to unrecord many patches at once.
With that feature done, it will be fairly clean:
   1. Record intermediate patches, including "FeatureX' in name
   2. Unrecord intermediate patches
        darcs unrecord -p FeatureX
   3. Record one new big patch

> - Naming conventions / boring: Is it correct that the only naming
>   convention in darcs is what is considered "boring", and that this
>   only affects the use of --look-for-adds?  

I believe that's right. 

>   Is that boringness
>   enforced in any way, or can I still add a file that looks boring?

darcs add --boring. 

>   Can I ever get into the situation where darcs classifies some file
>   in a way that prevents me from recording (such as TLA does when it
>   finds "U"nrecognized files)?

You can find dicussion in the past where darcs throught my file was
binary and I didn't want it to be. In the end, there were some fairly 
simple solutions there.

> - White space in token replace: Is it still true that tokens cannot
>   have whitespace in token replace?  This would actually be pretty bad
>   for me: I do most of my programming with the noweb literate
>   programming tool, <http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~nr/noweb/>, and I
>   routinely have chunk names like <<what to do next>> that are to be
>   treated like tokens and that I might want to rename into something
>   like <<the next step>>.  Or would it be possible to use rather
>   general regexps matching anything starting with `<<' and ending with
>   the next `>>', all on one line?

I'll have to let someone else answer that. In my experiments with token
replace it  never worked as I expected, and I used find and
replace instead, which worked fine. 

> - Repo size: For strange reasons I have to carry anything I want to
>   work on by floppies between my work computer and the one at home,
>   and that is not going to change in the foreseeable future.
>   Consequently, the size of a checked out repository is an important
>   consideration for me: Does that mean that I should checkpoint often,
>   use partial repositories most of the time, and avoid pristine trees?

I believe so. 

I pruned out some other questions. Perhaps another darcs user will chime



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