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Re: Access to repository-side files in version control repositories

From: Randy Yates
Subject: Re: Access to repository-side files in version control repositories
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2012 13:09:24 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.96 (gnu/linux)

Michael Albinus <address@hidden> writes:

> Randy Yates <address@hidden> writes:
>> Hi Michael,
> Hi Randy,
>>> If you have opened a file under version control [...]
>> But that's just it - you can't. At least I've not seen a way to open a
>> file on a repository using emacs and the "standard" packages. Not
>> directly.
>> I know you meant a file in your working copy, but that sorta brings out
>> my point - what if you don't have a working copy of the repo? What if
>> you do but you don't want to have to visit a wc file first, then open
>> the repository-side file? What if your wc file has nothing to do with
>> the repository-side file you want to open?
> Tramp does not handle repositories. All it can do is supporting vc.el,
> which operates over "working copies".

I am requesting that this feature be considered.

>> Sure, I could check the file out into a wc, then visit the file, but
>> that's like saying you could scp a file over, then edit it - who needs
>> tramp?
>> In other words, there are great advantages doing this using the standard
>> visit-file mechanism of emacs, not the least of which is convenience,
>> but in this case much more.
>> Let me tell you where I'm going with this. If tramp provided the
>> requested functionality, then this would greatly enrich ediff. I could
>> directly ediff two files on a repository. In my work (and I think many
>> others'), this would be EXTREMELY useful.
> vc.el has great support in working over revisions. You can apply "M-x
> ediff-revision", which does exactly what you want. 

Well, not really. There are two things I would like to do that this 
does not provide:

  a) Directly get an arbitrary repository file into a buffer using a
  standard syntax using the visit-file mechanism. That means that I
  may not even have a wc of the repo checked out at all. Note that I
  just want to see the file (search it, copy it, etc.) in this scenario,
  not run a diff on it.

  b) Diff arbitrary repository-side files WITHOUT HAVING TO FIRST EDIT
  ANY WC FILE (by specifying the repository, file, and version). In
  fact, I may want to diff two repository-side files that reside in
  different repositories!

I see now vc.el provides some of this functionality, albeit not via a
standard visit-file mechanism. (I misinterpreted that part of the ediff
info page on this.) But I still think the ability to c-x f a
repository-side file brings a good bit more flexibility/capability to
emacs and its packages. 

My $0.02.
Randy Yates
Digital Signal Labs

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