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Re: Weird behavior from checkout

From: C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
Date: 2005-03-10 15:38:10 CET

Norbert Unterberg <nepo@gmx.net> writes:

> True. But I think that a default value for a new feature should be
> chosen so that ...
> a.) ... the new version of the software remains compatible with
> previous versions unless you explcitly use the new feature. Changing
> the default behaviour might breaks existing scripts and applications
> when updating to the new version (as far as I know, the eSvn windows
> GUI client calls the svn command line tools to perform its
> operations).

For scripts and applications where language bindings are available, I
have no sympathy. That's what APIs are for -- it's why Subversion is
modular, unlike some other (*cough* CVS *cough*) software.

> b.) ... it reflects the most common use of a command (as long as that
> does not conflict with a.). So that for most uses I do not need to
> specify the new option or syntax.

If 'checkout' were the only Subversion command, I'd agree

But when you have multivarious commands to deal with, you must not
underrate the importance of UI consistency across those commands. If
diff and cat and merge and ls and log and ... all work one way (the
way that is most common for them) and checkout stands alone on the
sidelines, then folks are just going to have to learn to use checkout
a new way. Remember, "the most common use" is determined strictly by
usage. As usage patterns change (for example, when required by a
bugfix that necessitates learning a new syntax), the definition of
"most common" will change, too.

> I have the feeling (from what I understand) that the new behaviour
> breaks the subversion compatibility rules that seem to have been
> followed quite strictly in the past, and I just wanted to bring this
> concern to the attention of the development team. But I respect the
> decision of the team as it has already been made, since they (you)
> have already done a lot of excellent work.

Your attitude (and praise) is appreciated.

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Received on Thu Mar 10 15:42:27 2005

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