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From: Ralph Mack
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 07:16:48 -0400

> Greg's comments generally fall under the "That's by design" category 
> but it's not obvious that that design is good.

Every team needs someone who is passionate about protecting the elegance 
of the original design and not succumbing to creaping-feeturitis. For this 
reason, I'm very, very glad that Greg is here. 

However, I do tend toward the notion that a revision control system
should automatically track important events in the lives (plural, 
given branching) of every file it contains, including merges, moves, 
and renames. Not supporting these affects the continuity of the history,
which in turn affects automated operations like subsequent merges.

> I've been working lately with a SCM tool that versions directories and
> I've found that it makes life much easier (at least with regards to 
> renames and branching).
If it is possible to truly track directory changes by inference from 
file changes, I'm all for it. Directory tracking is problematic in a 
variety of ways, as it is in some sense a second view of some of the
same data. I suspect that the imperfections in directory tracking 
you've experienced may a side-effect of imperfections in tracking file 
movement and renaming. If these are done correctly, it should be possible 
to infer directory behavior from them. 

The two directory changes that I can think of that can't be inferred 
from properly tracked file activity are creation and deletion; the only
effect of this is that an empty directory is indistinguishable from an
absent one. I think accurately tracking the existence of empty directories 
is the least of CVS's limitations, so I'm willing to let that one go. 

Ralph A. Mack

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