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Re: Suggestion: "svn explain"

From: Gareth McCaughan <Gareth.McCaughan_at_pobox.com>
Date: 2002-08-03 23:38:46 CEST

On Saturday 03 August 2002 6:46 pm, Greg Hudson wrote:

> Well, I'm against "svn explain", partly because I think we should
> stop reporting error codes at all. Our error messages are much too
> verbose. An example error:
> Aside from being visually ugly with the leading newline, an
> unschooled reader is likely to get caught up in the cryptic
> "svn_error: #21044 : < ...>" and take more time to get to the
> important text.
> Of course, this doesn't solve your problem of cryptic error
> messages. I can only say two things about that: (1) bugs are
> generally going to result in cryptic behavior; there's very little
> we can do about that aside from fix most of the bugs; and (2) the
> correct response to a cryptic error message is not to plaster over
> it with documentation, but to make it less cryptic.

No disagreement with any of that. If it's possible to make all
error messages comprehensible without making them
excessively verbose, that's definitely the right thing to do.
I'm a little sceptical. :-)

> I also think we want to curb the expansion of our command set.
> Bitkeeper is legitimately criticized as having way too many
> functions; I don't think we want to go that route. But this is my
> smallest objection, since it would be easily addressed by making a
> sub-feature of "svn help" instead of making a new "svn explain."

<shame>I hadn't even noticed there was already a "svn help" when
I chose the name "svn explain". If I had, I'd have proposed the syntax
"svn help error 12345".</shame>

Anyway, so far we have a -0 from Martin Pool and a big fat -1
from you, so unless the tide of opinion turns I shall assume no one
other than me wants this sort of feature. Fair enough.

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Received on Sat Aug 3 23:39:51 2002

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