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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] etla [Was: Testbed for OverArch]

From: Clark McGrew
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] etla [Was: Testbed for OverArch]
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 17:10:32 -0500

On Fri, 2003-11-14 at 15:39, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 11:16:30AM -0500, Clark McGrew wrote:
> > What are your plans for etla?  Would you envision it becoming a complete
> > command line impementation of the overarch idea?
> Not likely. overarch has never been specified, but the impression I've
> got from talking to Tom is that it's supposed to be a higher-level
> tool.

Is it possible to specify overarch without prototype implementations?  I
would doubt it.  I suspect it's really hard to anticipate what is needed
without having feature requests from users based on how tla is being
used.  So I think the objective of something convenient *now* exactly
coincides with overarch development.  TLA is just a little bit to
unfriendly for the less computer inclined to work as a "drop in"
replacement for CVS (different functionality, same purpose), but it's
really close to being ready.  However, I think it needs a nice shiny
veneer (that can be regarded as a prototype for overarch).  

BTW:  If anybody is offended by my choice of "oarch" as a name, I'll
change it.  But, I am trying to get a discussion started so that the
requirements for a spec be explored.

> > My
> > thinking is that individual projects will want to define default
> > behaviors to match the specific development environment. 

> Quite possibly, but I can't think of any way in which that relates to
> anything etla does right now. I'll worry about it if the problem ever
> arises. (Yes, this is intentionally short-sighted).

Fair enough... and a very good attitude.  Unfortunately, I'm worrying
about the problem since it has arisen (if I want to use push TLA for the
UNO, JHF, or SK collaborations).  Right now, I'm trying to get a way to
push project defaults (among other problems), and then will start
worrying about makeing it easier to use.  

> I don't plan on providing an arbitrary extension mechanism, and I
> can't think of anything useful to do with =tagging-method offhand. A
> more intelligent way of selecting default archives has been on the
> todo list for a while, I'm planning on implementing that shortly.

I'm interested in seeing what you come up with.  I'm currently thinking
about having a precious "defaults" directory in each archive
(tentatively named ++overarch) that would have a structure crudely based
on {arch}.  In otherwords, atoms of information would be stored in

> "Project policy" sounds like an overarch thing, though.

Doesn't it ever!  I really get the impression that a some higher level
command line interface (and GUI for those who must) is the next big
thing for TLA.  I think there is a lot of latent demand out there, but
most of us don't really know what we want.  I can tell that tla is to
"difficult" for me to turn loose on a bunch of my collaborators, the
problem is figuring out how to simplify it.  I'm certainly not an
interface expert.


Clark McGrew                    Univ. at Stony Brook, Physics and Astronomy
<address@hidden>        631-632-8299

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