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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] not everyone likes implicit shortcuts

From: zander
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] not everyone likes implicit shortcuts
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 16:08:57 +0100

On Sun, Nov 09, 2003 at 03:35:01PM +0100, Robin Farine wrote:
> To comment once again on the general subject of spreading convenience
> shortcuts in tla.
> Almost everybody knows it already, I am against the kind of shortcuts
> that pretend to know better than the user what is good for him.

That is a bit shortsighted, don't you think?

Some years ago I was in Germany with a group of people; we wanted to
go from one end of town to another, so we decided to take the bus.
The person buying the tickets asked for one ticket for 10 persons.
The busdriver answered that he did not have any.
The person buying then asked for 2 tickets for 5 persons. (which he
luckely saw behind the driver)
We got the tickets and were on our way.

What we were all very surprised about was that the busdriver did not
think with us; he was not going to suggest there were 5-person tickets
and was just going to wait untill we ordered; be it 10 1-person tickets
for all he cared.

Your idea that you should be able to tell the bus driver exactly what
you want is fine with me, no problem here.
But please accept that most of us don't want to investigate what it
is that the busdriver is waiting for; just give me a good default and
I am on my way.

The reason I put up this example is also to show that, yes 10 1-person
tickets would be a nice default; but you can put some intelligence in
there and either suggest (the non-intrusive way) a good alternative;
or just do the alternative (this is the one you are afraid of).
The secret to keeping everyone happy is to decide where a reply is
given with the alternatives; and where to just assume the default.

> I rather like to be forced to specify explicitely from which
> version to merge or to which branch--version I want to move my project
> tree, it forces me to think about what I really want to do.

The problem is that most people (me included) don't really want to think
about this stuff;  and not providing a default will make the command
line soo long that it basically becomes too hard to manage mentally.
I don't think you will type it too often;  I know that a collegue of
mine created way too many branches in cvs since he just copy-pasted
a command line he failed to remember from an email I sent him a long
time ago.

Thomas Zander

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