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Re: svn diff output

From: Marc Haisenko <haisenko_at_webport.de>
Date: 2004-09-16 11:00:02 CEST

On Thursday 16 September 2004 07:43, Ben Reser wrote:
> Basically I was thinking of something similar to feel of traditional
> diffs, but that supported representing our full feature set. I think
> the dump format doesn't really fit that bill. It's a fine format for
> dumps and seems to be optimized to make a very fast parser (important
> when loading large dumps).
> We need something reasonably compact (even at the cost of parsing
> difficulty), human readable (so it can serve the dual purpose of
> displaying details on the changes and how to apply a changeset to the
> wc/repo), and without binary diffs unless the file is clearly binary.
> Binary diffs should probably be encoding to some format that is friendly
> to email and text editors. Maybe BASE64 our svndiff format for them.
> I do think the dump format points out exactly what functionality we need
> to support.

First of all, I'm just an interested user who is following this list for
months and like to comment a bit :-)

The BASE64 part/being friendly to email is a very important aspect, I think.
We've all seen diffs in emails, haven't we ? And we'd surely see svn diffs in
emails as well (or snippets from diffs) so playing nice with email is must,

For me as a user it would be really nice to have two options: either make a
"normal" diff to send someone else who can then apply the patch to his
(unversioned) source or have a "full-blown" diff just for svn.

The "normal" diff would not work with binaries, of course, so the user should
be warned if there are changes in binary data.

My first thought was that maybe the "full-blown" diff could use the unified
format as well and extend it in a way so that the produced patches still get
accepted by the normal patch command (it seems to ignore stuff that is not
part of what it should be in the patch).

Then again this could cause quite a lot of problems when binary files are
involved but patch only changes text files and leaves the binary files
unchanged. This is unexpected by the user and would surely cause confusion.
So the format of the "full-blown" svn diff should be chosen so that the
normal patch command rejects it, IMHO.

Marc Haisenko
Webport IT-Services GmbH
mailto: haisenko@webport.de
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Received on Thu Sep 16 10:54:05 2004

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