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Re: I miss tags

From: Tom Mornini <tmornini_at_infomania.com>
Date: 2004-09-28 20:05:38 CEST

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On Sep 27, 2004, at 11:49 PM, Brad Appleton wrote:

>> *I Think* that what people find uncomfortable about copies is
>> that the ADDRESS or LOCATION changes.
>
> I'm not so sure. If we assume the copy is being used to
> identify and reproduce a "configuration", then I think
> what they are worried about is that "the name of the thing"
> ALWAYS refers to the same set of things (the same name
> always means the same configuration).
>
> A copy is a living, evolvable thing. And unless/until
> they have a way to make them sealed/frozen, that makes
> them nervous.

Well, I think everyone is in 100% agreement here. Subversion
definitely needs to make tags more concrete than they are
currently.

Just for my curiosity, do you feel this way about every other
versioning system out there that allows modifications to tags?

> But I think separate from that, for some at least, isn't
> whether or not the thing is changeable; it is whether or
> not the thing "rightfully" belongs (and should be viewed
> together with) the other set of things in will show-up
> with.

Show up where? I simply cannot get so many people concerning
themselves about the backend storage format!

> Kind of like on "Sesame street" when they show a picture
> of several things and say "one of these things is different
> from the others; one of these things just doesn't belong" :-)

But, I think many feel that it belongs far more than the attribute
system! For heaven's sake, people have been using "copy and move
aside" for version control since the advent of electronic storage!

>> Others would say that keeping the feature set minimalist, and
>> not cluttering it with useful, though technically arbitrary
>> 'fixes' (which some may classify as crutches for some people's
>> inability or unwillingness to adopt to a new conceptual model)
>> may, over time, destroy both the technical and conceptual
>> cleanliness of an inherently more powerful model.
>
> And I feel the same way, except that I differ in what
> corresponds to simplest, cleanest, and minimalist. I
> think the other thing could be done in such a way that is
> in fact simpler, and cleaner, and more minimal than the
> current implementation. And that adding extending existing
> functionality doesn't necessarily make the existing model
> more complex, and in fact can even make the model simpler
> if "factored down" to the right core-set of simple but
> powerful primitives (two of which "copies" currently try
> to combine into a single "primitive").

Well, from the code and future maintenance perspective, what's
there and working is certainly the most clean.

> That wouldn't even have to invent much of anything new,
> just use whats already there with a meaning that makes
> sense for "metadata" nodes like branches/labels (as opposed
> to user files and directories :-). Its not adding new
> concepts so much as reusing what is already there, and figuring
> how it can meaningfully apply in a way that hadn't necessarily
> been realized yet (so instead of the concepts and their
> functionality being new, what instead happened is existing
> concepts were successfully translated into a new frame/context)

Sorry, Brad, just cannot agree with you here. I think it's just
about people's inflexibility in adopting to new ideas. Each and
every (or nearly so) person who has an issue with this has stated
a vague uneasiness with large numbers of "items" being required
to physically render something that is entirely a logical
construct.

After all, Subversion provides complete separation of backend
storage systems. Everyone is complaining about (and has been
complaining about) a purely arbitrary representation of the
repository based upon the first two backends, and how the
working copies are represented when represented as a
filesystem (i.e. when moved to a working copy) or when viewed
via 'svn ls'. This is particularly bizarre with the default
dbfs backend.

Question: How else could one represent it with the complete
context provided by current implementations? It provides a
simple mapping of each and every tracked item in a method
that everyone who understands hierarchical filesystems
can instantly grasp.

That, to me, is the very definition of a good conceptual
model! CVS at its core never had this. Try explaining
tags and branches to non-technical computer users, such
as graphic artists or middle managers, in any other
versioning system and you'll know what I mean. Of course,
I'm sure that you know exactly what I mean. :-)

- --
- -- Tom Mornini
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Received on Tue Sep 28 20:06:22 2004

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