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[Arx-users] ArX and simplicity

From: Kevin Smith
Subject: [Arx-users] ArX and simplicity
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 18:38:03 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (X11/20050325)


For me, one of the features of ArX is that it is simpler than other
systems of comparable power. Simpler to understand. Simpler command set.

Recently, I have watched cogito (git) grow from nothing to marginally
usable in a short time. It is currently simple to the point of
minimalism. I also took a peek at FastCST, Mercurial, and codeville.

Although ArX is much simpler than arch, it feels more complex than some
of these other systems. So I'm going through the ArX manual with fresh
eyes...not as someone who has seen complex systems and is impressed with
the simplicity of ArX...but rather as someone who has seen simpler
systems and begins to question anything about ArX that feels complex.

I have already added several entries to the bug tracking system
suggesting tweaks to the manual. But there is one "feature" of ArX that
has already caused frustration for me several times as a user, so I want
to discuss how to fix it rather than just documenting it:

There is no delimiter between the name of an archive and the names of a
top-level branch within it. The most obvious downside is that users must
remember whether or not to include a trailing slash, depending on what
they are doing. That's error-prone and confusing. Another downside is
that just by looking at some archive URI, you can't really tell whether
you are looking at an archive or a branch. There are probably other
problems that I just haven't hit yet.

I may have asked about or mentioned this before, but would it be
possible to clearly separate archives from branches? Just trying to find
an example in the manual, I'm not sure which archive/branch names I
might grab that might be relevant and which are not.

Would it be possible to use : to separate an archive from the top-level
branch name? Would that remove all ambiguity? Or perhaps there is a
better alternative?


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