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Feature request: Really verbose status information

From: Holger Hellmuth <hellmuth_at_ira.uka.de>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 18:22:57 +0200

one thing that is confusing for non-heavy users of subversion are the cryptic symbols on
svn status reports of the command line client. There are 20 symbols that can appear on the
report, too much for a casual user. Now what does 'X' mean again?

On the other hand most will see only a subset of the symbols most of the time and svn help
status lists the flags (which usually means some scrolling in the windows history as the
help output has 90 lines or switching to less on a non-X terminal, but the info is not far

Still I think usability of the command line client could be improved by having a switch -w
aka --wordy (as --verbose is already taken) that either

a) substitutes the symbols with short words, i.e. instead of 'M' you have 'Modified',
instead of '*' you have 'out-of-date', 'outdated' or 'obsolete'. Naturally this would make
the line substantially longer, the flags would need around 50 chars to still be aligned.
Alternatively the words could be packed and cutoff with a plus sign at 20-30 chars as more
than three flags should be quite seldom.

b) or adds an index after the status list, where all those (and only those) symbols that
occured in the status list have a short explanation line similar to what is printed for
that symbol in svn help status. The nice thing is, you always get only the information you
 need, in a compact way.

I think I would prefer solution b, since the short words may in some cases be still too
short to give an adequate hint to what it means.

For best results it should be possible to turn this on by default in the users config file.

I did a quick check on 4 people here in the office. One never used the command line
client, one didn't think he needed the feature and two thought that would be helpful to them.

Any comments?

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Received on 2008-06-20 18:22:58 CEST

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