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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] "tla commit" generates a patch-set even if there ar

From: Aaron Bentley
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] "tla commit" generates a patch-set even if there are no changes
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 11:10:32 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5 (X11/20040309)

Julian T. J. Midgley wrote:
In article <address@hidden>,
Aaron Bentley  <address@hidden> wrote:

The harm comes from changing the default behavior. I have scripts that I run from cron that would be broken by that change. tla isn't very user-friendly. Scripts can make it smoother. Let's not make tla script-unfriendly too.

A little disingenuity is in danger of creeping in here.  tla with a
"--force" option to commit would be no more or less
"script-unfriendly" than it is now.

I said "the harm comes from changing the default behavior". That's a script-unfriendly policy.

Your existing scripts would merely need to be changed to use the option.

Yes.  In general, that's bad.

tla isn't intended to be the user-friendly frontend, and wrappers or scripts are.

People should be able to update to the latest version of tla without breaking their existing tools. I've found out just recently that I've been distributing an obsolete script, because tla shifted underneath me. I shouldn't have to test every script in my collection every time I do a tla update. And it gets even more awkward if I want to support tla 1.2 as well as versions that support the --force option.

 It would certainly be
a little more "user-friendly", however.

It would be more new-user friendly, but not a lot. It would be slightly less friendly for users like me. Depends what a "new user" is, too. I started with tla about 5 months ago.

In arguing against the proposed change, you appear to be putting some
inconvenience to yourself (and others with similar scripts) now ahead
of the annoyance caused by a poorly chosen default to the thousands of
developers who start to use tla in the future.

No, a script-unfriendly policy will make more difficult to develop user-friendly frontends. That will harm new users more than a few empty commits.

Sometimes, I admit, network effects can be so great that an otherwise
sensible change cannot be made for the difficulty it would cause
elsewhere - it seems, this early in tla's life, however, that that
point hasn't yet been reached, and it would be a pity to avoid
smoothing off the odd rough edge before tla achieves the ubiquity of
CVS for the sake of avoiding inconvenience to the early adopters.

Sure, it'll always be a compromise. You asked me for the case against, and I gave it. I really hope we have better frontends than tla before Arch achieves ubiquity, anyhow.

Aaron Bentley
Director of Technology
Panometrics, Inc.

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