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On Reviewing the FAQ

From: Bart Seaman <bart_at_doctormodulus.com>
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 15:29:22 -0700 (PDT)

Greetings Ladies and Gents,

It is my purpose to-day to pursuade you that the FAQ on tortoisesvn.net contains one less-than-satisfactory feature request rebuttal. The request in question is for the Windows Explorer rename to perform the same function as the SVN rename. (http://tortoisesvn.net/node/162)

There are two reasons given for declining the request: 1)the Explorer rename command is not part of the TortoiseSVN shell extension, and 2)were it possible, it would not be desirable. Two examples are presented in defense of this second assertion. I would like to begin by stating that I do not wish to dispute the rejection of the request. Rather, I wish to express my dissatisfaction with the second reason given. I maintain that the former reason is entirely sound, however, I must respectfully disagree with the latter. It is my opinion that it would indeed be desirable, and that the supporting arguments presented are easily defeated.

First, a summarization of the two examples:
The first example professing the advantages of Explorer rename is the case of making an unversioned copy of a file. The second example is for "unversioning" a file--i.e., delete the file from SVN but retain an unversioned local copy.

If I may, I would like to present to you my counter-points:
It would appear, at first glance, that these are valid reasons for not imposing upon the Explorer rename command. However, although effective, both examples are, in essence, hacks. As a community of developers, it is our duty to hold one another to the highest standards and to prevent the perpetuation of poor practices. I believe that promoting hacks and work-arounds as solutions, especially as supporting arguments, is ill-advised.

What I see when I look at these two examples is not evidence for the undesirability of the Explorer rename functioning as the SVN rename, I see the need for two new TortoiseSVN commands. A "Copy and Revert Original" command added to the right-drag menu and the addition of an "Unversion" operation to the standard menu would satisfy the first and second examples respectively and would be even easier to perform.

Thank you for your audience, code wisely.

Dr. M.


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Received on 2009-10-31 23:38:50 CET

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