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Re: VC mode and git

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: VC mode and git
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 2015 07:41:53 +0900

Eli Zaretskii writes:

 > Teaching people new things often requires to start without rigor,
 > because otherwise you risk losing your audience.  Being
 > "technically correct", but confusing instead of explanatory is not
 > helpful.

Eli, you can't have it both ways.  When I use the shorthand common in
the git community and defined in the glossary, you excoriate me for
lack of rigor (in different but equivalent words).

 > >  > I don't even understand all this attitude: do we want Git newbies
 > >  > to become more proficient in using Git,
 > > 
 > > No, we want to support their efforts to become more productive using
 > > git.
 > Take it from a bystander: that's not how many messages in this thread
 > sound.

I agree.  You are quite correct that my phrasing was ambiguous; what I
meant by "we want to" is "in an ideal world this channel should be
focusing on ..., and avoiding flammable terminology".

 > > If they want to become proficient, I don't think there's any
 > > problem.  But Alan and Richard have expressed a rather strong desire
 > > to learn *nothing* about git
 > They didn't say that, please re-read their messages with open eyes.

OK, "nothing" is an unwarranted exaggeration.

 > What they did say is (a) they don't like investing an inordinate
 > amount of time and effort into studying Git, and (b) they would like
 > to keep their previous workflows as much as possible.

 > So if we want to help them become proficient, we need to go with them
 > and educate them while trying to honor these 2 desires.

My opinion that is that given what Richard and Alan apparently
consider to be "inordinate effort", we are unlikely to get to a point
where they know enough to make an informed decision.  Richard has yet
to say anything about git that doesn't involve exaggeration and
unnecessary pejoratives, and he's already gotten impatient enough to
force the issue by installing changes himself.

 > > yet insist on workflows that are infeasible if they remain ignorant
 > > of the details and options of git.
 > They are not infeasible.  They need only minor adaptations, see
 > GitQuickStartForEmacsDevs.  Those adaptations do not require any
 > details and options of git, just one new command.

If you say so.  I'll be interested to see what Richard installs.  I
wouldn't be surprised if it obviously fails to solve a few of the
several issues he has reported.

 > >  > If the former, why do we insist on being "technically correct"
 > >  > instead of explaining things in a way they could be understood?
 > > 
 > > Because it's entirely unclear to me what they are asking.
 > If you don't understand what they are asking, may I suggest that you
 > wait with your answers until you do, or ask someone else?

OK, I'll do that.  I've wasted far too much time on this thread.

 > > Richard is incapable of describing what he actually did, yet bridles
 > > at any suggestion that his actions were involved in messing things
 > > up (despite repeated admissions that he forgot this or that).
 > What he did became clear, even to me, after he showed the information
 > we requested.

It did?  It's not clear to me.  I still haven't seen an explanation of
how he ended up with a ton of modified files that he didn't touch, or
how he's going to get past that safely.  Nobody has mentioned him
doing a diff against a public reference commit that *should* be where
he started, in order to confirm that when he pushes he can succeed
(preferably without making the DAG too ugly, as well).

 > > "Complain to the writers of the Git glossary, then.  I just read what
 > > they say there."
 > They stated a fact.  They didn't tell when to use that shorthand.

You're missing the point.  *They used it themselves, and to interpret
what they wrote correctly, you need to admit that.*

 > > I wish you would write more posts like that.
 > Thanks, I'm trying.

You're welcome.  I hope you know there was absolutely zero sarcasm in
the compliment.  There is no question in my mind that you have been
the most level-headed contributor to this thread, although I disagree
(even now) with some of the positions you've taken.

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