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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] distringuished branches, Re: distinguished branch n

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] distringuished branches, Re: distinguished branch name, "clone"
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 07:48:08 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Mon, Nov 10, 2003 at 01:18:27PM +0100, Thomas Zander wrote:
> > You mean the tla sub-command names?!?  The way tla does it is basically
> > _traditional_ for such tools (see e.g. cvs).
> Hmm; the above came out a bit more negative then it is intended. The email 
> was meant to compare tla's long naming convention to the gnu standard which 
> has the single dash and the double dash convention.
> type 'ls --help' for a list to see what I mean.

Those aren't `commands', they're _options_.  One important attribute of
options is that they're for the most part orthogonal to each other, and can
be used in combination.

Tla sub-commands on the other hands are a _very_ different thing: they
essentially sub-divide the command-line namespace into many separate

If you give sub-commands the exact same syntax as options, you'll confuse
things immensely -- sub-commands _are_ special (their usage is different from
options, and they completely change which options can be used on the rest of
the line), and they can _not_ be mixed with options, and so they should _not_
look the same.

> I'm not saying that we should convert things like an 'tla file-find' to a 
> 'tla -f', but it is perhaps very much needed to provide single word 
> abbreviations that are clear to unix users.

I agree, single-word commands are good where possible, and sometimes
single-word aliases can be useful too; note that changes in this direction
are being made already.  A recent example is Colin's change from
`what-changed' to `changes', and `whats-missing' to `missing'.  I've been
making similar changes myself, for example, I changed `undo-changes' to just
`undo' and got rid of the alias -- the `-changes' suffix added nothing (and
similarly for some other commands).

If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.  [George Carlin]

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