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

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] not everyone likes implicit shortcuts
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 08:08:18 -0800 (PST)

    > From: address@hidden

    [on defaults and shortcuts]

    > 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.

That's not a good analogy for this case.   A better one would be
something like:

        A group of us went to the window we thought was the express
        window for tickets for the cross-town bus.  It turned out,
        though, that it was the window for tickets to any bus.

        We asked for passage for 10, bought our tickets, were
        directed to a bus, got on -- and then found ourselves heading 
        off to the waterpark instead of across town.

        It turns out that, it being a sunny saturday afternoon, most
        people buying tickets were headed for the waterpark.   It 
        was assumed to be the default and since we didn't actually
        _say_ "cross town bus", we found ourselves spending and hour
        and half just getting back from the waterpark.

    > > 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.

That's fine, but since there isn't a good _global_ default, it's
better to explore mechanisms for setting defaults in other ways.

Having a project provide scripts is a crude first approximation and 
perhaps we can eventually make something fancier than that.


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