[darcs-users] Fwd: Darcs Problems

Ben Franksen benjamin.franksen at bessy.de
Fri Mar 1 20:37:23 UTC 2013

Ganesh Sittampalam wrote:
>> I haven't given too much thought to this, but there's probably
>> substantial overlap with the darcs-rebase work that's been going on.
>>  I'd appreciate it if someone who's familiar with that (Ganesh?) could
>> comment on this.  If it's a good idea, maybe I could try to hack it up,
>> or somebody else might be inspired to work on it.
> With rebase, the workflow for grabbing the hotfix without its
> dependencies is roughly:
> pull hotfix (thus grabbing the dependencies too)
> darcs rebase suspend <hotfix>
> darcs obliterate <unwanted dependencies>
> darcs rebase unsuspend <hotfix>
> <resolve conflicts>
> darcs amend-record <hotfix>.

I guess what I'd really want here is a new command, some version of "darcs 
pull", that disregards patch identities (including patch meta-data) and only 
considers atomic changes (hunks, etc). The idea is to "dissolve" all the 
<unwanted dependencies>, and pull exactly the set of atomic changes 
contained in them that are necessary to apply the selected patch (<hotfix>). 
The result should then be packed into a new patch.

The reason I think this would be useful is that in many cases this will pull 
in a lot less than a real pull command does. This will make the process of 
amending the new patch to get rid of unwanted changes a lot easier.

> The downside is that this gives you a patch with a new identity, with no
> real relationship to the previous hotfix.

I liked John's idea of a patch that (somehow) 'stands in' for set of patches 
(the <unwanted dependencies>). As I understood it, the idea is that if I 
later pull <unwanted dependencies> (which should work because Darcs nowadays 
handles duplicate changes w/o conflict), the stand-in-patch can 
automatically unrecord itself (or maybe better, Darcs could notify me that I 
can now safely unrecord this patch, since all the patches it "stands in for" 
are present, so it is no longer needed.)

I guess what I describe above would be the perfect basis for such a stand-in 
patch, at least with regard to the patch's content (the set of atomic 
changes it is made of).

What do you think?

Ben Franksen
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