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Re: svn commit: r30919 - trunk/subversion/svn

From: Karl Fogel <kfogel_at_red-bean.com>
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 10:57:48 -0400

glasser_at_tigris.org writes:
> Log:
> Retool conflict resolver menu into three sections:
> Edit the merged file:
> (e) edit - change merged file in an editor
> (df) diff-full - show all changes made to merged file
> (r) resolved - accept merged version of file
> Just deal with the conflicts (ignoring merged file):
> (dc) display-conflict - shows all conflicts
> (mc) mine-conflict - accept my version for all conflicts
> (tc) theirs-conflict - accept their version for all conflicts
> General:
> (p) postpone - mark the conflict to be resolved later
> (l) launch - launch external tool to resolve conflict
> (s) show all - show this list

Before criticizing this one minor decision, I want to state how totally
and completely I love that you are completing the interactive conflict
resolution feature. Yay!

But, is it really wise to add these section headers? I found the
categorizations confusing -- like, why are "(e)" and "(l)" in different
sections? They feel so similar. Same with "(df)" and "(dc)"...

My point is not that the sections need retooling; any categorization is
going to create similar conundrums. Meanwhile, what does it gain us? A
user encountering the menu for the first time just has to read all the
options to make an intelligent choice; as they learn the options through
repeated exposure (and learn which ones they usually use), the category
headers are just that much wasted vertical space.

To my eye, they just get in the way of the real information. And I
think users don't expect real documentation at an interactive prompt.
Instead, they expect high information density. The prompts don't add
information, though -- instead, they attempt to organize information
that's already there. The user will carefully read the prompts only to
be confused (if they're like me) or at least disappointed, because the
effort of reading will not pay off with more knowledge. All they'll get
is someone else's idea of how the various choices could, in theory, be
categorized. This is not useful to the user, in this context. It would
be appropriate in a user manual, where organizing information is part of
the task, just not at an interactive screen prompt.


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Received on 2008-05-02 16:58:03 CEST

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