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Re: Revisiting: Question about "labeling" fuctionality

From: Sean Laurent <sean_at_neuronfarm.com>
Date: 2005-01-19 19:08:31 CET

On Tuesday 18 January 2005 01:15 pm, Max Bowsher wrote:
> It's not "don't want labels" - it's "don't want something that's almost,
> but not completely, like an existing feature, unless we are 100% certain
> that there is no way to extend the existing feature to do what is
> required". I.e., it's all about maintaining a well-structured consistent
> design.

And believe me, I absolutely appreciate that! I find that, in the long run, a
"well-structure consistent design" leads to higher quality and more robust
software products than ad-hoc designs.

> If I understand correctly, the main reason for wanting labels is to be able
> to look at a file, and see the tags set on it. This could be provided using
> the existing tags, and a better way to view copy history, and this would be
> much more coherent with the rest of Subversion's feature set.

Hrmmm. For some time now I have felt that "labels" and tags are really
different beasts and tags don't eliminate the need for labels. However,
after reading your idea about improving the ability to view the copy history,
I think I'm wrong... they're two different mental approaches to the same
problem and the "label" approach is not consistent with the rest of

However, here's an interesting problem that is easier to solve with "labels"
than without. Assume a label is a mnemonic alias for a revision number. If
I want to view the log of changes to a branch, that's trivial using labels:

$ svn log -r RELEASE_1.0:RELEASE_1.1 http://server/svn/branches/myapp

If we use the branch/tag approach, we would create separate tags for each
release. However, to view the log of changes to the branch between 1.0 and
1.1 would require us to know the revisions for 1.0 and 1.1:

$ svn log --stop-on-copy http://server/tags/myapp/1.0
r421 | sean | 2004-12-07 15:33:45 -0600 (Tue, 07 Dec 2004) | 1 line

Release 1.0 from r420.

$ svn log --stop-on-copy http://server/tags/myapp/1.1
r521 | sean | 2004-12-14 15:33:45 -0600 (Tue, 14 Dec 2004) | 1 line

Release 1.1 from r520.

$ svn log -r 420:520 http://server/svn/branches/myapp

That's definitely more inconvenient than the "labels as aliases" approach.
However, as I said before, I'm beginning to think the label idea is not
consistent with Subversion (not to mention how I over-simplified what Hugo
Heden wanted).

Max (or Karl, Ben, et al), would you be willing to discuss (at a high level)
your thoughts on possible improvements to viewing the copy history and how
that would fit into this picture?

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when
you make it again.

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Received on Wed Jan 19 19:10:48 2005

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