[darcs-users] darcs cannot apply some patch bundles

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Sat Mar 3 07:08:46 UTC 2012

Hi Ben,

On 3 Mar 2012, at 02:30, Ben Franksen wrote:
> I recently had a situation where I could not apply a patch bundle created 
> using darcs send because darcs apply complained about a missing patch in the 
> repo. So I pulled the missing patch, could apply the bundle, and then 
> obliterated the patch I just pulled. So, obviously the bundle did not depend 
> on teh missing patch, so why did darcs not allow me to apply it?

This question would make a nice FAQ.  I couldn't find any written-up discussions specifically on it (ideally, on http://wiki.darcs.net/FAQ), but I did manage to dig up this old discussion on IRC:


(Assuming I didn't get it wrong myself)
It's a subtle limitation in Darcs, and a UI hole that people fall through :-(

Basically the issue is that for Darcs to know whether or not it needs a patch, it needs a representation of the patch.  Compare darcs pull and darcs apply.  They both do  the same thing patch-theory wise, except that in the case of darcs pull, missing patches can be retrieved from the remote repo (if only to be commuted out and discarded).  Darcs apply can't do this retrieving, hence the long approach you use.

For me, what's a bit upsetting about this limitation is that it undermines people's confidence in cherry-picking, even though cherry-picking is actually innocent here.

Is this explanation clear?  I'll hold off on exploring 3 rough ideas on how darcs could make this better until I or somebody else has taken the time to try and write this up for future use.



Eric Kow <http://erickow.com>

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