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Re: Random Thought: Unified "TortoiseVC" interface for Version Control

From: Thomas Hruska <thruska_at_cubiclesoft.com>
Date: 2007-04-20 19:22:40 CEST

Daniel Atallah wrote:
> Hi guys,
> I've had a crazy thought, and figured I'd get a gauge on interest from
> you guys.
> I've been using TortoiseSVN for several years, and used TortoiseCVS
> for a couple years prior to that. I really love the interface and the
> easy with which it allows people to easily adopt better revision
> control practices.
> I'm sure we all know about the various complications (overlays,
> excessive menu items, etc.) that arise when trying to use both TSVN
> and TCVS at the same time - this will be further complicated as other
> VCs construct similar UIs (I know there has been some discussion of
> this for both monotone and mercurial, and I wouldn't be surprised to
> hear of others).
> As distributed VCs become more popular, we're going to see a larger
> variety of systems in common use, so I think that it is worth thinking
> about ways to make life easier for people who need to use several VCs.
> Obviously, the TSVN project can't be expected to maintain an
> all-encompassing Windows Explorer shell that supports lots of
> different version control mechanisms, but what about the possibility
> of converting TSVN to a "Core" and a "VC implementation" (i.e. the
> actual svn integration)?
> My thought, at a very high level is that the "Core" could implement
> the various Shell/Explorer hooks and the Cache, along with other
> unified UI screens like the commit dialog, etc. VC implementations
> would implement a set of Interfaces which could either tie into
> existing UI screens / Cache implementation, or replace even
> potentially override them.
> With this setup TSVN would only need to continue to maintain the
> "reference" SVN VC implementation. Such a setup would significantly
> reduce the difficulty for other projects to implement a nice Shell
> Interface and would also provide a nice unified experience to the end
> users.
> What are your thoughts about this? Is it something that you would
> consider getting involved with?
> -D

What would be _BEST_ would be for Microsoft to get off their collective
rears and _fix_ the overlay problem on their end and backport the fix to
their older OSes through a patch. The redundant menu items isn't a huge
deal as long as it is just TSVN and TCVS.

I agree, though. There is a lot of duplication of effort going on
between TCVS and TSVN - although TSVN currently holds the upper hand,
IMO. Not sure how a unified interface would work or if it is even
possible. Or, even if it _IS_ possible technically, the
logistics/politics might make it impossible to do. You're asking two
disparate communities to cooperate (the CVS camp vs. the SVN camp). And
it is already confusing enough when users get told "that's not us
[TSVN], go talk to the Subversion community". To add another layer,
users would then get told "that's not us [TSVN], that's TVC."

Not to discourage the idea, but I'm just putting into perspective what
exactly your idea entails. I'd love a common interface - I've got both
TCVS and TSVN installed (I manually hosed all the TCVS overlays so TSVN
would work properly) but I just sort of chalk it up to the "nice to have
but not really necessary"'s.

Thomas Hruska
CubicleSoft President
Ph: 517-803-4197
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Received on Fri Apr 20 19:23:56 2007

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