[darcs-users] some darcs comments from Johan Tibell

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Sat Jan 2 17:57:17 UTC 2010

Hi Stephen,

On Sun, Jan 03, 2010 at 01:47:31 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> I'm not Johan, but let me comment anyway.

Yes, please!

> I don't understand who you are trying to save from what here.

In case this clarifies my concerns, I'm operating on a very basic level
of worrying here.

In other words, I'd be nervous about the prospect of Darcs becoming more
difficult to use (Not sure I have a complete definition for that yet:
maybe that you have to learn how a lot of new concepts, commands, and
how a lot of options fit together; or it suddenly becomes easy to do
things you did not want).

Independently of the usefulness of branching, I need to get a good way
to get a feeling for how the presence of branching affects the sort of
simplicity I'd like to see Darcs preserving.  Maybe there actually is a
way to do it, just some sort of simple addressing scheme and then a set
of darcs branch commands that most people can ignore.

But that's as far as I've gotten.

> At the lowest level, you're saying it matters whether the patch I need
> is currently stored locally or in some other repository.  That's
> clearly a mostly bogus distinction.[1]  Copy the patch and be done
> with it, OK?

I'm not sure I'm saying that.  How?

I was merely trying to see if the no-remote-branches approach would
allow us to avoid inventing some sort of addressing scheme for remote
branches.  That's all.

To be clear, the only thing I was worrying about in that mail is
one day finding ourselves in a position where people are scratching
their heads and wondering 'how do I use this darn thing?', at least
more so than they may be doing so now.
> The next level problem is that if your VCS supports colocated
> branches, you might commit to the "wrong" branch because you forgot
> which one you're in.  Fixing this is just a rebase (and maybe
> splitting the first patch).  Well, hey, isn't Darcs the world's best
> tool for rebasing, and no slouch at splitting up patches?  And note
> that this can surely happen without *remote* branches.

I believe your mail may be ascribing a more advanced level of worrying
to me than I intended :-), in the sense that I'm not really trying to
save anybody from any sort of shooting-in-foot.

> I can think of one use case where pulling a remote branch would be
> very useful.  That is the case where bootstrapping your project is
> very expensive.  The workflow here is to create a repository in one of
> the usual ways, and bootstrap it.  Now, if you want to test someone's
> changes, instead of cloning their branch (moderately to very expensive
> in a big tree) and bootstrapping (very expensive), you simply pull the
> delta to their branch into your "build&test" working tree and remake
> the changed files.

Thanks for that.

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