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State of vc-svn.el

From: Eric S. Raymond <esr_at_snark.thyrsus.com>
Date: 2005-02-22 18:18:33 CET

Some months ago one of the listmembers here who was aware that I am
the original author of Emacs VC mode asked me to review the vc-svn.el
written by Jim Blandy that ships with Subversion.

I have not forgotten this request, and it just worked its way far
enough up my queue to get some action. I have looked at both the
Blandy version and the version by Stefan Monnier that now ships with

Here are my findings:

1. The Monnier version was synced with the Blandy version at revision
   5801, and has evolved since.

2. The Blandy version changed at revs r9195, r6632, and r6173. The
   last substantive change was at r5799.

3. Both have a serious problem in that they only do commits one file
   at a time. To fix this, the VC framework itself needs to have a
   notion of committing a group of files.

My conclusion is that:

(a) The three small changes to the Blandy version since r5801 should
    be ported to the Monnier version.

(b) VC should learn to use a new optional method, vc-group-commit, that commits
    a group of files with a single change comment. And to fall back
    on individual-file checkins when that optional method is absent.

(c) The Monnier vc-svn.el should be enhanced to supply this method.

(d) The Blandy version should be dropped.

In furtherance of (c), there is a hint in the way Emacs calls svn ci
that when svn ci is given path arguments, it commits only changes in
the files named by those arguments (as opposed to shipping changes
for the entire working copy).

However, neither the help text for svn ci nor the Subversion book
addresses this. (The failure to explain how path arguments are used
is a documentation bug.) Is it in fact the case?

If so, enhancing VC to do the right thing will be easy.

		Eric S. Raymond
The biggest hypocrites on gun control are those who live in upscale
developments with armed security guards -- and who want to keep other
people from having guns to defend themselves.  But what about
lower-income people living in high-crime, inner city neighborhoods?
Should such people be kept unarmed and helpless, so that limousine
liberals can 'make a statement' by adding to the thousands of gun laws
already on the books?"
	--Thomas Sowell
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Received on Tue Feb 22 18:22:02 2005

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