[darcs-users] Suggestion: remind user of DARCS_EMAIL

Max Battcher me at worldmaker.net
Wed Mar 25 06:36:34 UTC 2009

Dan Pascu wrote:
>> Possible compromise: What about a simple y/n question after the
>> prompt: "Darcs has noticed that you haven't set a global default,
>> would you like to set this as your default? [yN]"
> I don't think this is a good idea. That question can quickly become 
> annoying and people may choose to answer y just to get rid of it without 
> thinking of the consequences of setting that value globally.

I considered that, but I don't think that one extra question in the 
interactive record session is a big annoyance. It should only appear 
when the email prompt appears and that is a relative rarity for most 
repositories: when _darcs/prefs/author, ~/.darcs/author, DARCS_EMAIL and 
EMAIL are all empty/unset.  At best it happens only once (I and many 
others have one standard email address for just about all projects) and 
at worst it happens once per repository (barring manually deleting 
_darcs/prefs/author) and should be no more annoying than the email 
prompt itself (has anyone complained about it?).

Defaulting enter to no (as I implied in my example text) should help 
those that might be annoyed by it (ie, expect every repo to have a 
separate email). I don't think that there are major consequences for a 
user "accidentally" setting their email globally. (Keep in mind there is 
always ``darcs ame -A newemail`` and ``del ~/.darcs/author``.) Let it be 
noted here that Mercurial only has a user global setting and entirely 
lacks a local/per-repository config for email (instead requiring a 
command line option *per-commit*).

Additionally, with my suggestion, should the simple y/n prompt get too 
aggravating, you could also come up with some sort of "stop value" to 
include in ~/.darcs/author so that it never prompts the "set global" 
question (an explicit "no global value" note, if you will).  Probably an 
empty file would do.

> I think a better approach would be the one I presented in the email I 
> wrote earlier.

You worry about the annoyance of adding one more question to the 
interactive email prompt only to suggest adding one more question to the 
interactive email prompt _and_ make the entire prompt more common (and 
thus more annoying)?

I'm willing to bet that my suggestion better mirrors the workflow of the 
average user: Oh, I need an email to attach to patches when I record? 
Ok. Oh, I can set it so that darcs doesn't ask me again for this user 
account? Great.

--Max Battcher--

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