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Re: Subversion "labels" vs. "tags"

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: 2005-05-24 22:40:09 CEST

David Weintraub wrote:
[...]
> Is there another way to use "switch"? Can I simply "switch" just a few
> files and not my whole working directory?

Yes, and yes. You just specify the files and/or directories that you want to
switch as arguments to the command.

> Making labels synonyms for revision numbers would probably accomplish
> 90% of what is needed for labels (and with the use of tags and hooks,
> we could do the rest). However, in all other version control systems,
> you can choose what to tag. If I have four separate projects in my
> repository, I may only want to label the flies in only one of those
> projects. If labels are synonyms for revision numbers, putting a label
> would mark all of my projects.

OK, so you don't want a "label" to just mark a point in time, you want it to
mark a set of particular versions of particular files. So the concept is the
same as Subversion's "tags"; it's just the useability that bothers you.

> [...] To me, the actual
> implementation is not important. I hated it when I was a developer and
> my managers told me I had to use a particular implementation just
> because they thought it was the latest thing to do.

I have been in that position and felt the same as you. People very often do
that when asking for something - "I need a feature called X" - when really they
only need some behaviour that they could have got from a feature called X. It
is part of our job as designers to ask "What, really, is the behaviour that you
need?"

> However, labels are an important concept in version control and
> configuration management, but they are still awkward to use in
> Subversion.

If you will now agree that the concept that you call a "label" is the same as
the concept that Subversion developers call a "tag", then we seem to have
arrived at a shared view. (The need to set up hook scripts and use awkward
syntax in order to use tags in Subversion is part of the implementation and
user interface, not the concept.)

Now we need to see in what respects the use is _too_ awkward at present, and in
what respects it is just a little awkward but could be made better anyway, and
then we could see about improving it.

- Julian

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Received on Tue May 24 22:41:04 2005

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