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

Michael G Schwern schwern at pobox.com
Sun Mar 20 21:10:30 UTC 2005

On Sun, Mar 20, 2005 at 11:40:14AM +0100, Gerhard Siegesmund wrote:
> Command aliases are the path to the dark side. Take a look at tla
> (arch) and you will shortly see the problem. In my opinion calling the
> same function with different names makes the interaction between the
> people of a community very hard. You have to learn both command sets to
> really give an answer, if a problem arises.

Too much oxygen will kill you, too much water will drown you, too much food
will give you a heart attack.  This does not mean I plan to stop breathing, 
drinking or eating.

There are extremes and extremes are usually bad.  This does not mean you
throw out the technique altogether.  Command aliases, used thoughtfully 
in moderation in those places where CVS and darcs are similar, can be very 

Then again, I am a Perl programmer and thus infected by TMTOWTDI. :)

> btw: Some of the commands in cvs are not really logical or helpful.
> darcs changes does exactly what you want to get. All of the changes in
> a repository. Using cvs you have to install special software to get
> changelogs (like cvs2cl). Neither cvs history nor cvs log gives you the same
> information. So why name darcs changes that way? It wouldn't be helpful
> at all for a newby.

Are you refering to the change log formatting of "darcs changes"?  This is 
incidental to the basic functionality of a change log: showing what changes
have been made and explaining why a user made a change.  The formatting isn't
really that important.  A CVS user wouldn't run "darcs log", see the
change log format and get confused.  The information desired is there, just
in a slightly different format.

> Please consider me also a newby with darcs. I now have about two or
> three small projects in darcs repositories. And there weren't any
> problems in the conversion from cvs. darcs is really simple to use.
> Compare this to tla and you will see a real complicated and unusable (in
> my opinion) version control system (especially with the dozens of
> aliases and commands and work flows to use...). :)

Windows XP users like to state "Its so stable, it hardly ever crashes 
compared to Windows 98!"  Just because you're better than bad doesn't mean 
you're good. :)

Don't get me wrong, darcs *is* really simple to use (see SchwernLikesDarcs) 
even compared to Subversion and CVS.  I could teach someone the basics of
darcs faster than SVN.  This doesn't mean you stop picking at little 

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