Feature Request: Even more advanced external properties GUI/Management
From: REYNOLDS, Dylan <DYLAN.REYNOLDS_at_airbus.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 10:51:34 +0200
I love the new properties manager, particularly for managing externals. I realise it has still been kept simple for ease of use and probably to maximise speed.
However, I have some proposals I think could improve the GUI. When you click on an externals property (as opposed to any other property) from the properties dialog you obviously load a special GUI to manage externals. It is this GUI I think could be improved.
My company has a GUI we wrote ourselves which performs these functions. We wrote it because TSVN 6 really didn't have any advanced externals features. Your new GUI now does most of what our GUI does but is missing some really useful functionality. Note that we use explicit externals always (as recommended). Often we want to know if our explicit revisions numbers are "up to date" with the HEAD revision.
* Either automatically or on command (I would recommend an enable check box on the GUI which remembers its value) the GUI could look to see what is the head revision for that external. It could then show the HEAD revision number in a column (and possibly also highlight using colour) to demonstrate what externals are "out of date" with the head. This triggers the user to edit that external if they choose. Currently they have to edit each external and then use show log to see if the external is up to date.
* Even better would be to then implement a context menu in the property browser with the option to update the right clicked explicit external revision number to HEAD revision number. This avoids the need to click on edit. Furthermore you could add the option to apply this process to all externals in the GUI at that time.
* The other functionality we added to our externals editor GUI is "Apply and Update". This button applies the external properties to the folder and then does an svn update on that folder. This is another time saver.
* It could also be helpful to add another "quick access" link for folders that have the externals property. So when you right click on a folder which has externals, along with "SVN update" and "SVN commit" context menu items, you could also have "SVN externals" as a link at this level on the context menu (without the need to go to the Tortoise SVN area). This would allow very fast access to the above improved GUI. When a user wanted to update their explicit externals for a folder they could right click and then click on the "quick access" link here. The GUI would automatically check what externals were out of date with the HEAD. They could then investigate this further with edit or if they knew what they wanted to do they could quickly right click again and update that or all explicit externals to the corresponding HEAD revision numbers. This process is far more efficient than the current one, even with the new GUI - which does improve a lot on what was necessary in the past.
* Another "smart" functionality you could add is to help people to create relative paths. Currently the URL selection is very simplistic. In fact opening a relative URL and then closing it again (at least for my version 1.7.1) actually removed the relative reference and replaced it with absolute. It would be great if it opened a special version of the repository browser which knew what the root path of repository was etc... and could offer different ways of constructing relative paths. This would make it far easier for new users to setup complex external links. Currently we have to use our own setup procedure to protect the user from these complexities.
I hope my suggestions can help. I also hope this was the correct way to submit them. If not please inform me of how and where.
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