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Re: Making revision graphs easier to read

From: nmgeek <glenn.tortoisesvn_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 14:33:58 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 3, 1:25 pm, Stefan Küng <tortoise..._at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Simon Large wrote:
> > 2008/9/2 Glenn <ozn..._at_yahoo.com>:
> >> 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...
>
> > OK, I'll see what I can do.
>
> >> 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.
>
> > I may need some help with the descriptions on this one. Stefan^2?
>
> The pencil icon means the node was renamed.
>
> green arrow : last commit
> pencil      : renamed
> two papers connected with a green arrow : replaced and also "tag" (I
> guess we have to get someone to draw better icons :)
> the other icons should be obvious.
>
> the shapes are as follows:
> octangle: deleted, replaced, renamed
> rounded rect: added, added with history (i.e., a copy)
> ellipse : last commit on that branch/tag/trunk
> rectangle : all other (normal) nodes
>
>
>
> >> 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
> >> screen.
>
> > Good point.
>
> >> 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.
>
> > One for Stefan/Stefan^2
>
> Is that really necessary? The action/operation is shown in the urls (and
> the copyfrom url).

I think adding text to identify the node type would really help people
learn
the symbology in the revision graph. Also, I don't see a copyfrom url
in the
roll-over popup.

Here are a couple other comments after another day of using the
revision
graph:

5. I don't see any reason to have the button that turns on/of "Show
HEAD revision nodes". Just show them all the time ... it would be one
less button in the GUI to get confused about.

6. Also, whereas the highlight outline graphic which shows
the current version in the working copy is _black_ for square nodes
it is _grey_ for HEAD/eliptical nodes. The grey is hard to see ...
it's hard to
see it's there at all. It makes more sense to show it in black like
with
the other nodes.

7. Are there supposed to be merge lines? I can see the branch lines
but
no merge lines.

8. It would be really helpful to show an additional node above the
head
node when the file is modified in the working copy.

9. If you have the modified node displayed then you can add right-
click
menu command for "diff with HEAD" (for the modified node),
"diff with previous version" for committed nodes, and a general "diff
with selected node" which would really, really help you see what you
are about to get into with an upcoming merge.

Maybe from these suggested enhancements you can see how the revision
graph can be the _primary_ screen for exploring branched version
history and
understanding and executing merges.

I have a process question: When you or Simon answer with
something like "good point" should I interpret that as, "yeah
I'll improve the documentation so this is addressed" or is it
up to me to file an issue against the documentation to help insure
its addressed in the documentation.

I understand everyone is volunteering their time (even me
in this case). I also understand that even volunteers
like to follow a well defined process. So I'm (hopefully
respectfuly) just checking in on the process.

I appreciate this wonderful tool you have put together and look
forward
to it getting better and better.

Thanks,
Glenn
>
> Stefan
>
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Received on 2008-09-03 23:42:53 CEST

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