[darcs-users] Suggestion: remind user of DARCS_EMAIL

Dan Pascu dan at ag-projects.com
Wed Mar 25 05:52:04 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 24 March 2009, Eric Kow wrote:
> Hi Kevin,
> Haven't heard from you in a while.  Note that we've merged the lists,
> so any discussion to darcs-devel actually belongs in darcs-users now.
> I'm inclined to agree with Kevin about leaving the actual behaviour as
> is.  I wouldn't mind a help text that more strongly encouraged the use
> of ~/.darcs/author or DARCS_EMAIL.
> In general, I tend to be nervous about setting global things
> automatically, because I suspect that what tends to happen is that
> users don't notice it and the system becomes a lot more magical and
> less transparent.  Not sure if I'm making a lot of sense, though.

I agree. As Kevin pointed out, one person may use different identities 
when working on different projects (I know I do), so setting a global 
~/.darcs/author file doesn't work as I can inadvertently use the wrong 
identity when creating a new project and only notice later when I already 
recorded a couple of patches.

The only way when ~/.darcs/author is useful is when I use only one (or 
mostly one) identity. But if I use more than one (but mostly one) and set 
it globally, it's probably the most dangerous case as it's easier to 
forget about the global default, especially if I seldomly overwrite it. 

Even though I may be tempted to set the global identity to avoid to input 
it everytime I set up a new repository, then danger of forgetting about 
it and using the wrong one next time prevents me from this.

I think that a better approach would be to always ask for the email, even 
when ~/.darcs/author or DARCS_EMAIL are set. In other words when I create 
a new repository, I still get the question, but this time it fills in the 
value from DARCS_EMAIL or ~/.darcs/author (in this order) if they exist. 
Kind of like a default value to use if I do not input anything. If I'm OK 
with that identity I can simply press enter, in which case nothing 
happens (i.e. it won't write _darcs/prefs/author with the answer as the 
identity is already set globally). However if I alter it and use a 
different one, then it should write it to _darcs/prefs/author

This way I can set a global default so I don't have to type it every time, 
but at the same time I cannot forget about it and mistakenly use the 
wrong identity without noticing because I'm always reminded when I create 
a new repository. However, pressing an <Enter> most of the time is less 
annoying than typing the email every time.

> On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 11:20:02 -0600, quick at sparq.org wrote:
> > Quoting Max Battcher <me at worldmaker.net>:
> > > On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 7:50 PM, Trent Buck <bugs at darcs.net> wrote:
> > > > I strongly feel that this prompt should write ~/.darcs/author,
> > > > *not* _darcs/prefs/author.  I think it is far more likely that
> > > > two users will share a repo (in which case _darcs is wrong) than
> > > > that two users will share a $HOME.
> > >
> > > +1.
> >
> > -1 for me.
> >
> > I disagree that two users will share a repo: each user should have
> > their own clone of the repo and work there, otherwise they have
> > conflicts editing the same files, running simultaneous builds, and
> > all sorts of other non- deterministic behavior.  Darcs is a
> > distributed SCM after all...
> >
> > The second reason is that the user may want different author ids for
> > different repos.  For example, I use darcs at work and darcs for
> > personal stuff: I use a different author for both of these.
> >
> > I think it's good to use:
> >   1. _darcs/prefs/author
> >   2. DARCS_EMAIL
> >   3. ~/.darcs/author
> >   4. EMAIL
> >
> > in that order, but if none of the above are set, the darcs prompt
> > should set _darcs/prefs/author.
> >
> > -KQ


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