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Re: Compare WC with a URL

From: Michael Sinz <Michael.Sinz_at_sinz.org>
Date: 2005-12-03 01:22:07 CET

Jim Blandy wrote:
> On 12/2/05, Michael Sinz <Michael.Sinz@sinz.org> wrote:
>
>>My initial response to this would be not to try to document this
>>behavior in the help output, just in the more detailed documentation.
>>This is a shortcut that is useful because people seem to expect it to
>>work that way. Thus, it reduces the "surprise" element that it does not
>>work.
>
>
> It seems to me that we should use our heuristics to print a helpful
> error message, suggesting how the user could get the effect we suspect
> they wanted, but not use the heuristics to actually invoke the
> behavior. That way, we avoid making life difficult for scripts, and
> avoid the ambiguity in the command-line, but still help people trying
> to do WC/repo comparisons.

How does making the heuristics actually figure out the "DWIM" action make
script writing harder? In general, user interfaces (and the command line
is a user interface) should act in a "least surprise" type of way. Making
the actions work as some/many seem to think it should have worked and doing
so in a way that only removes a failure case seems to be a reasonable action.

It is not like there are two confusing actions that could be being requested.
We know what the action is to the point of telling the user what they should
have done. Why not just do that?

-- 
Michael Sinz                     Technology and Engineering Director/Consultant
"Starting Startups"                                mailto:michael.sinz@sinz.org
My place on the web                            http://www.sinz.org/Michael.Sinz
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Received on Sat Dec 3 01:23:23 2005

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