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Re: Unix user finds interface counterintuitive

From: Andy Levy <andy.levy_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 06:33:59 -0400

On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 06:08, M4N - Jasper Floor <jasper.floor_at_m4n.nl> wrote:
> To whom it may concern,
> I just helped a colleague who is not a developer get on svn. I am a
> Debian (or Ubuntu) user who runs windows to play games that crash wine.
> I am familiar with svn and have tried numerous clients. The attractive
> thing about Tortoise is the integration into explorer. I had already
> seen this so I was fairly confident this would be a good tool. Setting
> things up however is probably impossible for a non-technical user (who
> doesnt read documentation) and fairly hard for someone who thinks he is
> familiar with svn.
> The main problem being that once you've actually done the work, Tortoise
> behaves like you haven't. What I mean by this is that after importing a
> directory into version control it acts like you haven't. Even though you
> can see the files in the repository. This is because Tortoise requires
> you to make a clean checkout. I would expect the files/directories you
> just added to be made into your working copy, since that is what they
> are. I finally had to resort to actually reading the Tortoise manual,
> which explains things clearly btw and thank you very much.

"Import" just copies things into a repository, it does not make a
working copy. This is a core Subversion function, NOT a "problem" and
not "a Tortoise issue". If you want the import to be a working copy,
see http://subversion.tigris.org/faq.html#in-place-import

> What would work better is when clicking on an unversioned file/directory
> (in an unversioned tree) there was an option 'add to repository' and
> that it will add that file/directory and make you local copy into your
> working copy. I feel this would be more intuitive. It cost me about 15
> minutes to get things working (including waiting for our way to slow
> internet connection). Naturally before I was called there was some
> figuring things out by oneself phase. So there is actually quite a bit
> of time lost.

Time lost because no one read the manual? And the SOFTWARE is to blame
for this? 15 minutes, partly due to a slow connection? This is not a
big deal. 15 minutes is a big deal when lives hang in the balance, not
when one is attempting to use new software for the first time without
taking even a cursory look at the documentation.

You can already do what's described at the link (which is what you're
asking for) with the existing TSVN features.

> While I don't expect to start using Tortoise anytime soon (I'm not a
> windows user remember), I can imagine having to support someone using
> it. I really do like your explorer integration. This note is merely to
> help you make the user experience better.

I'm sorry, but I really don't see how you can lay any blame at the
feet of Subversion or TSVN when you consider that:
A) You didn't look at the documentation first (which does explain
exactly what you encountered)
B) You only "lost" 15 minutes (I "lose" 15 minutes daily sifting
through garbage search results on Google, but I don't blame my web
C) You tell us that a good part of that 15 minutes had nothing to do
with the user experience but because you have a slow connection
D) This is a "feature" which would be used very rarely and is an
action which can already be performed with existing TSVN features.


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Received on 2009-05-07 12:34:27 CEST

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