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RE: Re: Suggestion: Improving language

From: Eric <zzz2010_at_pby.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 13:21:45 -0800 (PST)

> One mans intuition is another mans curse.

Very true. That's why I suggested being able to customize the menus - it might be a novel way to use language-support functionality.

> > Whereas “Import into SVN” would be clear, “Import” by itself is ambiguous.
> > To most people, “import” means “to bring into my local area”; my first
> > impression is that I should use this to bring code *from* SVN *into* my
> > computer.  “Export” would mean the opposite, although it would be an odd
> That would not be logical. How could you get something from SVN into
> your computer if you have never ever put it into SVN in the first
> place?

But both choices are available *after* you've put something into SVN, too.

> About the "add what to where": what were your choices? What choices
> did you have for "what" and "where"?

Actually, the dialog box for "Add" provides some information even when empty - not enough to see the need for "Add" over "Commit", but that's not a Tortoise issue.

The "Revert" dialog box is a better example. Revert to the last update from SVN? Revert to an earler local version (like NetBeans)? The menu choices (and some dialog boxes) are meaningful to SVN users but do little for newcomers.

> Since "update" is right next to "Commit", I think it's perfectly clear
> that update doesn't mean updating the repository.
> Each command, just without context surely doesn't make much sense. But
> the commands show up together in the context menu so you have at least
> some context how they're used and what they mean.

Yes, their proximity told me they're not the same thing (and the arrow was confirmation) but proximity isn't a reliable way to provide context - especially for newbies. "SVN Update..." leads an unfamiliar reader to think it's a way to update SVN (the repository). "Update from latest..." would be more descriptive and is consistent with "Update <s>to</s> from revision..." ("from" matches the arrows).

Unix and DOS formerly had only a command line interface and this required users to know a great many commands. GUIs eliminated that: we click on what we need; we don't necessarily care what the actual command is. But for consistency among tools, perhaps the SVN commands could be in caps: "UPDATE from latest...".

> > There’s space in the menu to make “Switch” and “Relocate” more
> > self-explanatory.  We all hate stopping to RTF – especially when every menu
> > choice has to be looked up.
> What would you suggest?
> And remember: those are well known svn commands so we have to stick to that.

Why not "SWITCH to Branch/Tag"? "RELOCATE working copy" couldn't hurt. My point is, these menu choices and dialog boxes are so terse that they hardly help guide new/infrequent users. It's a "click-until-I-recognize-something" interface. Thankfully, the dialog boxes have a Help button that opens the manual.

Thanks for asking, Stefan.


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Received on 2010-12-07 22:21:55 CET

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