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[Gnu-arch-users] usability issue: committing to read-only archive

From: Robert Anderson
Subject: [Gnu-arch-users] usability issue: committing to read-only archive
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 18:26:32 -0500

Introducing people to arch in a work environment is pretty
enlightening about arch's usability issues that may not be
obvious to people who have been hacking away at it for awhile.

The latest issue that stung a new user is that he was working in
a config in which some of the trees were from his archive and
some of them were from a central archive that he didn't have
write access to.

I set him up this way not expecting him to need his own branches
of some of the code, but as it turned out he did have to make a
few tweaks in those branches too.

Well of course he got confused when, months after initial setup,
he tried to commit in one of the branches attached to the archive
he didn't have write access to.

The error message was something like "unable to attain version
lock" or whatever that message is.  Of course, while literally
true it's terribly unhelpful for figuring out what's going on in
this case.

googling the error message only led him completely down the wrong
path about what to do to try to solve it.

It seems like there ought to be some kind of an abstraction here
  about archives which are intended to be committable and those
which aren't, so that when someone tries to commit to a mirror,
or a read-only archive of some kind, they can get feedback more
helpful than "unable to obtain revision lock."

Anyone working on usability issues want to do something about
this one?


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