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

From: John Peacock <jpeacock_at_rowman.com>
Date: 2004-05-11 17:24:42 CEST

Mark wrote:

> 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 was using the registry as a straw man argument, to show that the "correct" way
to do something in Windows has varied greatly over the years. There is no one
way that works for all versions of Windows (and I'm not even talking about Win98
et al).

> 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.

And here you are twisting my words. I am not suggesting that users /have/ to
learn a different way, only that it isn't a bad thing to maintain a consistent
methodology over many platforms _for those who prefer consistency over native

I am just as at home in *nix and Win32, but I view Subversion as a *nix program
which has been ported to Win32 (and I think history backs me up here ;).
Consequently, I want it to work under Win32 in the same way as it does under
*nix. I view the location of user configuration files to be just as much a part
of the interface as the library calls, and the Win32 port does not work the same
way as the native *nix version in this respect. That is a matter of opinion
(mine) and other people are entitled to their own opinions.

> 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.

I'd /rather/ $HOME/%HOME% be the default for both, but if that doesn't meet with
approval, I'd /settle/ for some other way to store the configuration files in a
user defined location. I think it is completely appropriate to allow the user
the option to override the OS default, _if they want to_.

If you read the whole thread, you should recall that the OP specifically
couldn't run Subversion when disconnected from the corporate network (for
admittedly poor choices made by his/her network admin). By tying the _only_
possible location for the .subversion folder to the %USERPROFILE% tree,
Subversion is specifically broken for that user, with no recourse (modulo a
different profile for disconnected usage, which leads to multiple configuration

> John, you obviously have a lot of knowledge and experience in the industry.

I like to think that I still have plenty to learn, but thanks for the
back-handed complement. ;)

> You don't have to like Windows, but your (blatant) hatred of the most common
> platform in the world only serves to discredit you.

FWIW, I don't hate Windows; I dislike it for reasons that I'm sure everyone who
has to administer hundreds of Windows boxes in a WAN environment can agree with.
   I have to infect every Windows machine with my own personal meme's everytime
I touch a new system.

I do think I could say that I hate Microsoft _the company_, for the blatently
abusive and illegal behavior they engage in every day. And here I have the EU
on my side (though in this country, the DOJ rolled over and played dead). But
that only slightly colors my perception of the OS I have to use every day. And
is also way off topic...


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 17:25:20 2004

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