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Re: I miss tags

From: Mark Phippard <MarkP_at_softlanding.com>
Date: 2004-09-24 21:32:29 CEST

Brad Appleton <brad@bradapp.net> wrote on 09/24/2004 02:38:12 PM:

> On Fri, Sep 24, 2004 at 11:54:19AM -0400, Mark Phippard wrote:
> > I just don't get this.
> >
> > Virtually everyone will concede that Subversion's copies, and CVS tags

> > wind up being the same thing.
>
> I guess I haven't seen such agreement/concession. I think
> there is a big difference between two different mechanisms
> that can each be used to identical effect, versus the
> conceptual use and operation of those mechanisms. I think
> there is a difference between "same effect/result" versus
> the means used to achieve it and the supporting concepts
> and mental metaphors that go along with a particular mechanism.

So you say you haven't seen such agreement, then proceed to essentially
state that it exists? My whole point was exactly what you said. Same
effect/result via different means, do we really need the literary
references?

> Why should I have to spend a lot of time thinking about how
> to sweep under the rug the UI representation of something
> I didn't want to be part of it in the first place?

All I have seen is several scenarios put forth as examples of why special
tags/labels are needed which Subversion in fact handles easily. So it has
now come down to "but I do not like seeing all of that info". That is why
I said essentially, "hide it if you do not want to see it". Should you
have to hide it? Maybe yes, maybe no. Until someone offers up a better
alternative, I guess you do. I think it would help if some good scenarios
could arise where the current tags as copies just could not do what was
needed. Right now, it sounds like if there were just some ways to refer
to tags by an alias that it would meet people's needs. There are ways
that could be done today, perhaps a better solution could be added in the
future?

> You seem to be arguing for the superiority of one
> over the other. I think this discussion isn't about
> either-or - I don't think people are saying to get rid
> of the current implementation. I see them saying there
> is another conceptual usage of tags that is imminently
> useful and they think it should exist in addition (not
> instead of) the "tags as copies" mechanisms because it is
> conceptually orthogonal

That isn't exactly the argument I am trying to make. I do not blindly
object to the idea of a special mechanism being added. I have just bought
into the "less is more" argument so would prefer to see some really good
scenarios created as to why something new is needed. An actual specific
proposal would also be nice. I have used a handful of tools, and
Subversion is the first one where I feel real comfortable with branching
and general repository maintenance. I think it is because of the
simplicity of the file-system metaphor.

> > I see little benefit in inventing new UI and metadata for features
that
> > already work well, and are just a bit foreign to users who have used
other
> > tools.
>
> I don't think the above is the issue at all. I don't
> think its that they are used to other tools and just
> need to get used to the "Subversion way". I think that,
> independent of the tool used, there is a separate concept
> of a baseline from the concept of attributes/properties
> to represent information other than baseline information
> (or in addition to, but not the same as). Some tools have
> different mechanisms, others may have one that can do both,
> but that doesn't mean it is a conceptual match for each.

I am not going to disagree with you, but a good many of the issues put
forward on the list by various people were pretty clearly because it just
didn't work the way they were used to. I think in most cases, CVS was
their point of reference.

> One such example would be Promotion-levels associated with
> a subset of files (possibly all on the same branch, or
> maybe not). Even this fairly straightforward concept is
> complementary (rather than equivalent too) baselines or
> copies. Different tools and projects may implement it
> different ways (for a discussion of at least a half-dozen
> of them, see <http://www.cmcrossroads.com/article/32900>).
> And that's just one example -- there are loads of others.

Create a promotion levels folder. Create level folders underneath it. Use
copies to maintain what should be at each level. You could even create a
"promote" script that hides the details. I do not think this would be any
more difficult to do than it would be with CVS-style tags. I have used
PVCS which has a specific promotion groups feature. It is a nice feature,
I think it would be hard to do it well with simple CVS-style tags. I
actually think the Subversion method I described above would work pretty
well for this. I may give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration!

> So should SVN get rid of its tags-as-copies? Of course
> not. I don't think anyone is saying that. Should it adopt
> a CVS-style tags instead? I'm not sure anyone is saying
> that either. I think their just saying there is this other
> use of tags as attributes/properties that is orthogonal
> from tags-as-copies and I want to be able to do that too,
> and I want to consider it separately in the UI as well
> (whether or not the implementation does or not is
> another matter :-).

I do not think anyone is trying to slam the door on the possibility of new
UI. The idea needs to be explored better to understand what is deficient
in the current implementation, if anything, and what the best solutions
are going forward.

Mark

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Received on Fri Sep 24 21:33:13 2004

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