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Re: Bug: svn revert annoys the user by behaving differently from all other commands

From: Markus Bertheau ☭ <twanger_at_bluetwanger.de>
Date: 2005-03-22 10:44:14 CET

В Втр, 22/03/2005 в 10:03 +0100, Nathan Maman пишет:
> Greetings,
> Let me apologise first: I am new and just starting to use SubVersion.
> I may be way off here.
> What about renaming the command 'svn revert' to 'svn forget' (which is
> exactly what it does)?

But it shouldn't forget. There's little reason for a computer to forget
a man's work - It has a large memory. The computer should highly esteem
the work of a man, so long as it can't do that work for him.

> That way there will be no more question about "restoring" the forgotten
> modifications.
> Now to answer Marcus: the way you handle your modifications is probably
> the key. Here is my "rule": think hard about those modifications: do I
> really want to forget them forever? If yes, use "svn revert" without
> thinking again. If unsure, copy them aside, "svn revert" and continue.
> It is then up to me to remove when I need it the copied files.

A rule does not prevent data loss because users don't read documentation
(i.e. the rule) unless they really have to or are bored. A rule can only
work if it's intuitive, but there's no point in calling intuitive
behaviour a rule.

Plus, at 1 o'clock I might think that I really want to forget them
forever, and two hours later still notice that I was mistaken. Errare
humanum est. The computer should account for that.

But let's not forget that the initial problem is that revert behaves so
differently from other commands, that there's a FAQ entry about it. I
want to solve this problem first.

> I think that it is too complicated to have an automatic backup systems
> that does not grow incredibly and that suits all the users needs.
> Ideally, all users would want to be able to remove any file and say one
> or two years later "I wish I could restore the file the way it was".

No, it does not have to be perfect. Two years is not the time frame I
was thinking about. It does not have to suit all user's needs. It needs
not to hinder all users and be useful to at least some of them.

If your ambitions are overdrawn, you can't succeed. I don't want to
sacrifice the concept itself for an overdrawn interpretation of it.

Thank you for your comments


Markus Bertheau ☭ <twanger@bluetwanger.de>
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Received on Tue Mar 22 10:47:32 2005

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