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Re: [Monotone-devel] [PATCH] Accept "mtn di" as "mtn diff"

From: Nathaniel Smith
Subject: Re: [Monotone-devel] [PATCH] Accept "mtn di" as "mtn diff"
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 11:21:13 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Wed, Oct 24, 2007 at 10:52:27AM +0200, Julio M. Merino Vidal wrote:
> I do not think this change is appropriate.  monotone already allows  
> shortened names of commands

It also already has a number of built-in aliases of this type.  (Note
he didn't have to add any code...)

> , and in fact 'mtn di' would work if it  
> didn't found multiple completions:
> $ mtn di
> mtn: misuse: 'di' is ambiguous; possible completions are:
> mtn: misuse: informative diff
> mtn: misuse: review disapprove
> $

Yes.  Such completions are non-discoverable (how the heck do I know
what the "shortest unique prefix" of a command is?  I would need like
half an hour and scratch paper to work this out); they create weird
long-distance coupling in the UI since shortcuts can be changed by the
addition or removal of entirely unrelated commands; and, they ignore
that we know perfectly well that some commands are used more often and
that people have existing muscle-memory for these commands.

> Maybe a better approach would be to allow the user to customize which  
> completions he prefers for a given prefix based on a lua hook?

Can you demonstrate the existence of any user that actually wants "di"
to mean "disapprove"?

> (Of course, one'd argue that checkout already has a shortened 'co'  
> version, but that's not strictly a prefix of it...)

See also "mv", "rm", "ci", "ls".  And we've gotten bug reports when
"up" accidentally stopped meaning "update", and I'm sure would
similarly if "sy" stopped meaning "sync".

-- Nathaniel

So let us espouse a less contested notion of truth and falsehood, even
if it is philosophically debatable (if we listen to philosophers, we
must debate everything, and there would be no end to the discussion).
  -- Serendipities, Umberto Eco

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