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RE: Subversion error "Can't determine the user's config path" on windows

From: Mark <mark_at_msdhub.com>
Date: 2004-05-11 16:35:19 CEST

While it may be true that the average Windows user has no idea (and doesn't
care) how things are implemented, I'd say that that's not true for the
average user that uses Subversion. A developer is much more likely to be
familiar with the way things are working under the hood.

While it is true that different versions of Windows have changed things,
sometimes quite substantially, isn't it true that different flavors of *NIX
and even different distributions of linux do things in even more different
ways? Witness all the problems that list list sees that have to do with
versions of BDB installed in various places!

I'd say that there should be no information stored in the registry. Even MS
doesn't recommend it anymore. Subversion stores its data exactly where it
should. Under *NIX it's /home/user, in Windows it's Documents and
Settings/user. I don't see why that's such a big crisis.

I won't respond to your comment about the security of Windows. We all know
that no OS has a perfect record there.

I do, however, completely disagree with your view of what a ported program
should do. It should behave on any given platform as though it was written
specifically for that platform. Granted, that's a Hard Thing(r), but that's
the ideal. No user should have to learn a different way of doing things
because that's how it works on some other platform.

You also propose a "solution" that says Subversion should make up it's own
way of working that's completely different from ANY of the platforms it runs
on. I don't see how that makes sense. I think that the current way of
working is just fine. If there were any changes to be made, I'd remove the
option of storing anything in the registry on Windows.

John, you obviously have a lot of knowledge and experience in the industry.
You don't have to like Windows, but your (blatant) hatred of the most common
platform in the world only serves to discredit you.


-----Original Message-----
From: John Peacock [mailto:jpeacock@rowman.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 7:43 AM
To: Jeremy Pereira
Cc: Branko Čibej; users@subversion.tigris.org
Subject: Re: Subversion error "Can't determine the user's config path" on

Windows users, in general, don't have a clue how anything is implemented
but it's true)! For the amount of data that is stored in the .subversion
folder, it is just as reasonable to argue that it should be stored
in the registry. I'm not going there, BTW. ;~)

IMNSHO, one of the major problems for people who _do_ know what is being
under the hood is the fact that there are more than one way to do things
Windows. There is a moving "Windows Way" target which depends on which
of the OS and sometimes which Patch level (to fix the numerous secutity
failings). Often there are system calls which hide this unnecessary
but not always.

A proper port isn't always about making the program work using the most
gradated platform specific features. It should be about making the program
identically _in spite of_ platform differences. I would be happy with a
environment variable which would preempt the "Windows" handling; the default

install still does things the current way, but it allows people who want to
something different a way around that.


John Peacock
Director of Information Research and Technology
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Boulevard
Suite H
Lanham, MD  20706
301-459-3366 x.5010
fax 301-429-5748
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Received on Tue May 11 16:43:41 2004

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