[darcs-users] should 'changes' be renamed 'log'? (was: Re: SchwernLikesDarcs SchwernHatesDarcs)

Michael G Schwern schwern at pobox.com
Sun Mar 20 07:59:25 UTC 2005


On Sun, Mar 20, 2005 at 04:12:54AM +0000, Mark Stosberg wrote:
> I find 'changes' more descriptive. Consider that both commands
> approximate a 'changelog', 

Stop a moment.  From the subject you've assumed that its EITHER changes OR
log.  Why not both?  You're right, its a "change log".  Some people think
of that as "changes" some people think of it as a "log".  Accomodate both
ways of thinking.  This also handily accomodates the folks coming over from
CVS/SVN without their having to refer to a translation table. [1]

Users will come to darcs with existing terminology for version control.  
Instead of fighting it by making them conform to a whole new set of 
terminology why not use it to your advantage where you can?  If you have a
command which is similar to a CVS/SVN command, make an alias.  Command 
aliases are cheap and effective and they allow users coming from other
systems to more rapidly pick up darcs.  And that's what you want.

Similarly why not alias "record" to "commit"?  Leave "record" as being
the canonical command, so you continue to use only one throughout the
documentation, but the alias is available for those who are more 
comfortable.

For reference, SVK has a ton of aliases.  "commit" is also "ci" to match
CVS/RCS.  "annotate" is also "blame" because some people think of it as
a "blame log".


> I think with a quick trip to 'darcs -h', 
> someone looking for 'log' could find what they need. 

I have problems with darcs -h.  Specifically having to do with new
users finding what they need.
http://bugs.darcs.net//Ticket/Display.html?id=257

In addition to the layout, "log" is not mentioned in the listing.  I honestly
had trouble finding "darcs changes" when I was looking for logging
functionality.

But that's another hate.
 

[1] Donald Norman would refer to this as taking advantage of Knowledge in
the Head vs Knowledge in the World.





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