[darcs-users] darcs repository format naming cleanup

Simon Michael simon at joyful.com
Fri May 7 01:06:59 UTC 2010

I joined an interesting discussion on #darcs today; here's what I  
proposed. I think this or something like it would be a good direction  
to aim for. What do you think ?

darcs init --format=darcs-1|darcs-2-backward-compatible|darcs-2

- options related to repo format (--hashed, --darcs-2,
   --old-fashioned-inventory) are gathered into one (--format).

- henceforth, the term "repo format" hides uninteresting-to-users  
   like the difference between internal patch format and plain/hashed
   pristine storage. The output of darcs show repo is adjusted for  

- repo format names indicate the minimum darcs version required to read
   that format.

- repo formats evolve in a strict linear progression.

- a major darcs version may introduce a new repo format "darcs-n", and  
   this is not interoperable with the previous format, may introduce a  
   format "darcs-n-backward-compatible" which is.


- clear for users

- extensible into the future

- does not change the meaning of terms we're familiar with

- usability-wise, the current situation is a mess that will get worse  
    a cleanup like this


- "-backward-compatible" is long, so awkward for ui and docs and
   conversation. It's also easy to misremember as "backwards". "-bc" is
   shorter but less clear.


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