[darcs-users] Naming consistency between darcs and other DVCSs

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Wed Jul 15 11:18:15 UTC 2009

Hi everybody,

On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 13:58:04 +0300, Dan Pascu wrote:
>> These changes sound sensible to me.  (Plus `darcs uncommit`?)  Is  
>> there an active effort to make darcs more consistent with other  
>> DVCSes?  Regardless of which came first, git terminology is becoming  
>> ubiquitous.  After showing an existing git user darcs, and noticing  
>> his surprise at `darcs annotate -p`, I think there may be a strong  
>> case for a language reform.

Before we get deep in to this, I want to stress that there are *no
current plans* to rename darcs commands. :-)

It's good to think about this stuff and work out a way forward, of
course, but we should think of this as fun idle chit-chat.

> I find commit and log worse names than record and changes.

I agree with what Zooko says when he points out that "commit" is a bad
name because in the DVCS setting, you're not really committing to

> I also consider them to be remnants of the old ages. Everybody copied
> them over from CVS, so they become widespread, however that doesn't
> make them necessarily better.

The idea would probably be to accept a little worse in the name of
uniformity, the idea being that it's improbable that others will be
shifting in our direction, so maybe we go to them.

> Repeal not only sounds odd, but I find it much less suggestive than  
> rollback.

I agree.  The problem is that everybody uses rollback/revert in
different ways, and so I wanted to find a way out by finding some
universal names that we could build a consensus on (this sort of
thing wouldn't happen without agreement from other communities).
"Repeal" stinks, but I hope you see what I'm getting at.

As far as I understand, Mercurial's rollback is our obliterate,
Git's revert is our rollback and our revert is Git's reset.
This makes it very confusing when you're trying to talk about things
to folks that use other systems.

Again, I recognise also the danger of accidentally giving things the
same name and glossing over an important and subtle difference...
which is why I wouldn't want to do this sort of thing without careful
consideration on all sides (and at a time where we can afford it).

> Also an important point to consider is that is't much worse to alienate 
> the whole darcs user base, just to make some potential newcomers (or 
> people using other version control systems) more comfortable.

It's not about making newcomers more comfortable so much as easing
communication across the board.

Thanks for the comments, Dan and all!  Keep up coming.  I don't want
to discourage this, just to make sure I make it clear that this
discussion will not have any concrete impact for a long long time.

Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
PGP Key ID: 08AC04F9
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