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Re: [RFC] Target aware commit message processing

From: Karl Fogel <kfogel_at_red-bean.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 20:02:12 -0400

"Justin Erenkrantz" <justin_at_erenkrantz.com> writes:
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 4:41 PM, Karl Fogel <kfogel_at_red-bean.com> wrote:
>> "Justin Erenkrantz" <justin_at_erenkrantz.com> writes:
>> > If we do this (and it'd be cool, I think), I'd almost wonder if we
>> > should prompt the user to confirm "yes" or "no" that SVN processed the
>> > changed files correctly. This seems like a case where belt and
>> > suspenders are good. -- justin
>> No, users will just habituate to typing "yes", and stop checking. (It's
>> possible to have yes/no prompts that users don't habituate to, but only
>> when those prompts appear in exceptional cases -- if they appear for
>> common cases, then they will inevitably be habituated to.)
> Well, I'd only prompt when the stuff below the marker changes...so I
> don't think the prompting would be *that* common. -- justin

The point is, it's 100% common *when the user has edited the lines*.

In other words, mentally, the procedure for selecting files via the log
message just becomes:

   - edit the lines
   - exit the editor
   - answer "yes" to the prompt.

Since the last two steps are habituatable, they will be habituated to --
and therefore become just a semi-unconscious annoyance to those who use
the feature.

Prompts only do good in so far as they are not part of the expected

For example, my mailreader protects me from sending messages early by
prompting "yes or no" when I hit send. But this is not to remind me to
check over my mail when I'm done -- if that were the purpose, it would
do no good, because tpying "yes" right after the 'send' command is an
unconscious reflex now.

Rather, the prompt is there to protect me from *accidentally* sending,
for example, by accidentally hitting C-c C-c in the course of editing
the message. Although the prompt is a fully habituated part of the
"send a mail now" procedure, it is *not* a part of the "writing a mail"
procedure. Thus, if I find myself suddenly answering a yes-or-no box
when I didn't expect to, I know something's wrong, and *by the time I
realize that* I'm already outside any expected procedure, so must stop
and think anyway.

The prompt being proposed here doesn't have that property. It's both
part of the expected procedure, and *not* part of any unexpected (thus
unwanted) procedure. Since it doesn't have the latter property, it does
no good.


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Received on 2008-04-24 02:02:44 CEST

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