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Re: Passing unused opts to every command considered harmful

From: Brian W. Fitzpatrick <fitz_at_red-bean.com>
Date: 2007-12-17 18:50:36 CET

On Dec 17, 2007 11:10 AM, David Glasser <glasser@davidglasser.net> wrote:
> On Dec 17, 2007 9:02 AM, Erik Huelsmann <ehuels@gmail.com> wrote:
> > For now, I too fail to see why it's (in this case) a UI wart to have
> > --username, --password and --non-interactive options to the svn
> > client. Surely I do understand it's a UI wart to support other options
> > (like --stop-on-copy), but I think the ones above are generic enough
> > to have commands suddenly develop the need for them. (See our 'sudden'
> > requirement for 'svn copy' to have them!)
>
> Additionally, unless I'm missing something the main point of having
> these three options in the first place is to use them in scripts. So
> making it easier for script writers to use them is a good thing.

I totally disagree. I posit that people who write scripts to wrap the
svn client are a subset of people who use svn. I further posit that
these people are a tiny minority of people who use svn. Are you
telling the that it's too hard for people to either keep track of what
commands take these options or to do simple discovery? I refuse to
believe that.

Just because svn is a command line application doesn't mean that we
can get away with gluing a bunch of crap on to our UI. Keeping our
command line client usable and simple has always been a priority.

If a user runs 'svn help add' and sees that it takes --username and
--password, they're going to wonder what it's used for.

> If the 'help' output implies too strongly that any command that takes
> --non-interactive absolutely has a way to be interactive right now
> (for example), then perhaps that needs to be changed.

That would be a nasty hack on top of a nasty hack.

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Received on Mon Dec 17 18:55:55 2007

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