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Re: svn commit: rev 1649 - trunk/subversion/libsvn_client trunk/subversion/clients/cmdline

From: Greg Hudson <ghudson_at_MIT.EDU>
Date: 2002-04-09 16:43:47 CEST

On Mon, 2002-04-08 at 11:53, Ben Collins wrote:
> So what we are arguing here is:
> 1. User surprised that editor pops up
> 2. User surprised that Subversion, unlike other version systems, doesn't
> pop up an editor by default.
> Considering that most (if not all) people who use subversion have used
> another version control system before, then most (if not all) people
> fall into category #2.

This is almost certainly bad reasoning in the long run. (Sometimes
writing improved software is a catch 22; to get your software adopted,
you have to cater to users of previously popular software, but that
doesn't always look like the best choice once your software is popular.
Here, though, I think we have a choice.)

On the one hand, I like standards. If a bunch of other software has a
certain behavior, it's generally wrong for Subversion to be gratuitously

On the other hand, defaulting to vi is a genuine usability nightmare.
Universities which use Unix systems are generally familiar with the
horror stories of the poor users who accidentally hit 'v' while viewing
a file with "more", and have essentially blown away that shell unless
they know the magic escape-colon-q-dammit incant.

On the third hand, maybe trying to make command-line tools accessible to
naive users is a lost cause, and we should just worry about GUIs for
non-sophisticated users.

So I guess my vote is a militant 0.

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Received on Tue Apr 9 16:45:19 2002

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