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Re: fun with Unix command lines

From: Tom Lord <lord_at_regexps.com>
Date: 2002-07-19 21:02:51 CEST

Hey y'all.

There's some chatter on the arch dev list about changes to our
namespace for lines of development. It's looking quite possible that
we'll switch to using just (nearly) arbitrary paths, which means that
svn and arch will have pretty much isomorphic namespaces. Make of
that what you will.

Where will the two projects still differ? In some ways, I think we're
in permanently separate parts of the SCM design space (and that's good
for users); in other ways, I think there are differences between arch
and svn that are gratuitous and detrimental to both projects and their

        1) whole tree patch semantics

           I believe there remain some annoying differences in how we
           handle inexact, tree-rearranging patches that could,
           perhaps, be smoothed over. Defining exchangable patch set
           formats is a subset of this problem.

        2) transaction granularity

           svn versions files one by one, arch versions them in
           bundles whose boundaries are reasonably stable accross
           revisions. There isn't an absolute distinction: arch
           could be used for single-file versioning; svn for
           bundled versioning. It's a difference in what cases are
           tuned for and in how the user interface feels.

           In a perfect world, there might be an abstract interface
           to both ends of the transaction boundary spectrum, with
           svn and arch regarded as alternative implementations,
           displaying distinct performance trade-offs.

        3) distribution

           The arch server protocol handles distributed repositories.
           I see no a priori obstacle to a simple translator that can
           translate between arch server operations and operations on
           a local svn repository. Thus, we'd have more or less a
           layering of a distribution protocol on top of centralized
           servers. Lots of pesky details, though, I'm sure.

I kind of like the (admittedly vague) vision of a "full spectrum" SCM
kit: something that hits a very wide range of
feature-set/cost/performance configuration trade-offs, with smooth
transition paths between the various configuration options, ideally
based on lots of little orthogonal-yet-synergistic standards
for the various tree formats, network protocols, etc. involved.
The low-level SCM technology problem is nearly solved, needing mostly
integration and bullet-proofing: it wouldn't be that difficult to
pull together such a kit.

Meanwhile, I think SCM has now pulled far out ahead of the IDE tools
Real Programmers actually use in Real Life. Your recent bump up
against VC mode (which mirrors arch's own) is a good example. The
programmer's and source manager's jobs have gotten really complex over
the years and our SCM advances can only add to that complexity.
Programmers need new high-level tools to go with our systems if
they're going to use them effectively.

Is this making any sense to you folks are am I just wasting my


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   Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 12:19:48 -0700
   From: Greg Stein <gstein@lyra.org>
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   It sure can. CVS and arch both started as a set of shell scripts wrapping
   existing programs. And look at them now... full blown packages. I guess Karl
   is on the way to creating the new svn-analysis program suite!


   On Wed, Jul 03, 2002 at 03:21:12AM -0700, Tom Lord wrote:
> Careful. That sort of thing can easily get out of control.
> -t
> Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 15:12:55 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Karl Fogel <kfogel@newton.ch.collab.net>
> Subject: fun with Unix command lines
> We were on the phone with Greg Stein just now, trying to get a sense
> of commit activity, and we decided to ask Subversion:
> svn log http://svn.collab.net/repos/svn | grep "^rev [0-9]*:" \
> | cut -d ":" -f 2 | cut -d " " -f 3 | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn
> :-)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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   Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/

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Received on Fri Jul 19 21:00:33 2002

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