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Making revision graphs easier to read

From: Glenn <oznelg_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 15:31:07 -0700 (PDT)

I've just started to use TortoiseSVN so even though the revision
graphs are relatively new and users must have been struggling without
them for a long time, from my point of view they are and always
have been part of TortoiseSVN. As such they are very helpful and
could use a few tweaks to make them even more helpful.

1. The manual needs _pictures_ of each of the types of revision
graph nodes. Verbal descriptions are ok but a picture is worth...

2. It seems that there are various combinations of icons and node
shapes. The pictures in the icons don't seem to be mentioned at
all in the documentation. For example, one of these
icons shows a pencil. What does
it indicate? Searching for "pencil" in the manual brings no hits.
Again, showing all the combinations of shapes & icons
or two separate sections: one
showing shapes with descriptions, and another showing icons with
descriptions might do the job. The "Icon Overlays" dictionary in the
documentation is a good example of this kind of thing.

3. Furthermore each node has a color. What do the colors mean?
Ok, while researching something else I just stumbled on the answer
in the Settings -> Color screen. I suggest the documentation for
this screen have two subsections titled, "Status and Action Colors"
and "Revision Graph Node Colors." That way searching for "Revision
Graph" will bring up this section (currently the only reference to
"revision graph" is in the screenshot which is, of-course, not
searchable. I also suggest adding a sentence to the "Revision
Graph Nodes" section that says you can look up and control the
colors for different types of nodes using the Settings -> Colors

4. Maybe some text could be added to the box that appears when you
roll the mouse over each revision graph node. It could
say something like Tip Node, added/deleted/renamed node, initial branch node, etc.

5. When you use the right-drag "move versioned files here" command
the resulting file has a revision graph that shows a branch node.
This is not consistent with the description of this command in the "Commit the parent folder" caution box in the "Moving files and folders".
It says, "moves are done as delete followed by add." Given that the
branch node appears there must be a _copy_ involved? Is the display
of the destination node in the revision graph correct to label it as
a branch? I guess svn makes no distinction between copying and
branching so this is ok although I wonder why the "move versioned files
here" command doesn't use the underlying svn move command instead of
the copy followed by add which it seems to use.

I hope you find these comments helpful. I used ClearCase for many years
with code with lots of branches and merges. I relied heavily on their
revision graphs so I guess I have high standards. I really like TortoiseSVN and hope my contributions can help make it really solid.


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Received on 2008-09-03 02:10:07 CEST

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