[darcs-users] proposal for 2.8 : fastconvert (and remark on the process)

Max Battcher max.battcher at gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 00:39:48 UTC 2010

On 11/30/2010 8:56 AM, Guillaume Hoffmann wrote:
> I think now there has been enough incubation and testing for this
> feature, and it should be included in 2.8 as subcommands of
> ``convert``.
> What do you think?

Initial impression: -0. I understand the intent for interoperability 
here, but I think it feels too soon to integrate it without a dedicated 
commitment to it and to maintaining it. More importantly, I feel that 
there is an importance in having healthy plugins that darcs can point to 
as exemplar and without other plugins ready to take darcs-fastconvert's 
place as an example I fear that plugin support once again drops to the 
"back-burner" on everyone's mind.

I suggest starting with the first step of getting binaries of 
darcs-fastconvert released alongside darcs releases as a plugin or 
something like "Supported Plugin" if you want to market it as such. Make 
sure that the plugin, as a plugin, is built on the buildbots, can be 
built by the platform czars, and can be released in all of the normal 
places binaries are posted to, again *as a plugin*.

I think this would be a good step in the process (external plugin -> 
internal/contrib plugin -> (maybe) darcs built-in), a good test of the 
community infrastructure, and a clear message that plugins are supported 
as first class citizens in the darcs ecosystem rather than the past 
dichotomy between "included in darcs" and "forgotten". Middle ground, I 
think, would be useful and important to establish here, and the darcs 
2.8 timeline sounds like a great opportunity to do so.

Finally, this had been shuffled off in the previous discussion, but I 
also prefer this middle step approach because it also may also be a good 
time to re-discuss and re-evaluate the need/want of allowing plugins to 
add or expand upon existing darcs commands in some fashion or another. 
Both hg and git, as examples, provide means to load plugins and treat 
them as "native commands". I would think that allowing darcs-fastconvert 
to handle ``darcs convert --import`` and ``darcs convert --export`` (or 
possibly some better names) while remaining an optional plugin would be 
a useful goal.

--Max Battcher--

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