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Quotation marks needed around file names in error messages

From: <julianfoad_at_btopenworld.com>
Date: 2003-01-27 03:43:17 CET

I'm still new here and you might not think this is important, but ...

When I read this APR error from Subversion ...

subversion/libsvn_wc/status.c:718: (apr_err=155007)
svn: Path is not a working copy directory
svn: svn_wc_statuses: apr is not a working copy directory

... I thought, What path is not a w.c. dir? What apr is not a w.c.
dir? I don't know what an apr is anyway. Just tell me what file name
is giving you a problem!

Later I discovered by other means that the name of the directory that it
is trying to process is apr, and so I now understand that the third
line is _mentioning_ the file name, rather than _using_ the word apr
which could be part of its vocabulary.

The name should be quoted, e.g. the third line could look like this:

svn: svn_wc_statuses: apr is not a working copy directory

... in all such contexts. This is important because it is common for
files involved in error messages to have plain names (like file) or
wierd names (like ) that make the messages confusing otherwise. I
have come across similar confusion in other software, and a small amount
of frustration makes a big impression. Of course, after you have seen a
given error once and learned to interpret it, it is easy to recognise it
the next time.

- Julian

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Received on Sat Oct 14 02:18:49 2006

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