[darcs-users] should we support .darcs too? (was: Re: SchwernLikesDarcs SchwernHatesDarcs)

Michael G Schwern schwern at pobox.com
Sun Mar 20 07:47:09 UTC 2005

For the record I didn't want to crack open this issue on list just yet,
its semi-religious, likely to generate a lot of noise and there are much
more important issues to discuss first before I lose all credibility.
I'm still mulling over if _darcs really is a problem and if .darcs would
actually solve anything.

But since you've brought it up I can at least answer some points of fact.

I know of no portability issues with a .darcs directory.  Windows can
handle it, even if the Explorer denies such a file can be created it can 
be done programmatically just fine.  The filesystem has no trouble.  Even
VMS happily handles a .darcs directory and that's something of a high
portability water mark.  The only issue I can think of is an old 8.3 DOS
style file system and then the bigger portability problem would be Haskell.

To clarify my current idea is to allow both _darcs AND .darcs with darcs
simply looking for both.  That way both camps are satisfied.  This does
create the problem of repositories which will not work with older versions
of darcs.

Anyhow, like I said, I'm not sure if this is a real problem or not.

On Sun, Mar 20, 2005 at 03:57:41AM +0000, Mark Stosberg wrote:
> I wonder how much effort would be involved in updating all the docs and code to
> support ".darcs" as well. Except... ".darcs" is used for preferences
> now, so there could be other problems. 

perl -i -pe 's/_darcs/.darcs/'  ;)  

But in the open source world one can state "yes this is a good idea" 
without worrying about the implementation because someone else will do the 
work. :)  Usually the person who most wants the change.

> I find this to be only a minor annoyance. It's easy to exclude with
> grep -R token !(_darcs)
> or 
> whatever | grep -v _darcs

But it is an annoyance and it is there.  However, changing to .darcs
will not fix this problem because grep -R will recurse into .directories
and read .files.  Subversion uses .svn and rgrep/find will happily go
into that.  Because of this I am still evaluating just how much of a
pragmatic difference .darcs would make.

I actually have long since written my own rgrep to work around these
sorts of issues to automatically avoid version control, backup and 
assorted Perl build directories. 

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