[darcs-users] darcs-2 help behavior

Dan Pascu dan at ag-projects.com
Thu Oct 9 23:07:17 UTC 2008

Eric Kow wrote:
> Hi everybody,
>> As you very well put it ("I'd like"), this is a personal preference, not 
>> necessarily a good user interface design choice.
> For background to this decision, see
>  * http://lists.osuosl.org/pipermail/darcs-devel/2008-January/007011.html
>  * http://bugs.darcs.net/issue896
> I would welcome any more background information behind this discussion.
> I had the impression that more people specifically asked for this
> behaviour before we implemented it.  Is this something people feel
> strongly enough about to back out?

I'm not against such a feature. I'm against the fact that is enabled by 
default, in such a way that it's next to impossible to disabled it 
without affecting some other part of darcs or the other applications.

A --pager option to the help command would solve this nicely. It should 
default to off, so the old behavior is possible. At the same time anyone 
who wants a pager by default can add to ~/.darcs/defaults a line like

help pager

> Note that this won't be until the 2009-01 release at the earliest.
> Two other notes
> * to get help explicitly without a pager: darcs help | cat
>   to get help explicitly *with*  a pager: darcs help | less
>   so as I understand it, this is a question of picking the right
>   defaults

Having to always pipe to something is not a good choice. --pager is a 
better solution IMO.

> * one potential disadvantage of setting DARCS_PAGER to cat is that
>   you lose the ability to explicitly request paging, for example,
>   hitting 'p' in interactive mode to view the current patch through
>   a pager

This is bad. I was under the impression that this can be solved using 
DARCS_PAGER (or PAGER), but if it affects other parts of darcs where a 
pager is useful, then I will keep arguing for disabling automatic paging 
and adding a --pager option that can support both use cases and would 
make all camps happy.


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