bzr serve --http ?

Robert Collins robertc at
Tue Jul 29 22:50:42 BST 2008

On Tue, 2008-07-29 at 21:38 +1000, Martin Pool wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 4:14 PM, Jonathan Lange <jml at> wrote:
> > I don't think it should be an option to the 'bzr serve' command
> > though. I'd expect the command you suggested to launch a
> > smartserver-enabled HTTP server. Launching Loggerhead should probably
> > get its own command; perhaps 'bzr webserve' or 'bzr webui'?
> I don't think you even need an option at all.  It would be quite
> feasible to serve either bzr+tcp or http over the same port as both of
> them (iirc) start with a line that identifies the request.  It would
> not be unprecedented either; my little hp inkjet printer does it.

What does it do for the user, and for us? For the user it lets them type
bzr:// or http:// with the same local url. That doesn't seem
particularly useful to me, and infact more likely to be confusing than
anything. If the key benefit in your mind, which I'm guessing at, is
that the web viewer would be available by default, why not just do that?
$ bzr serve
HTTP server listening on http://localhost:8080/
$ bzr serve --bzr
BZR server listening on bzr://localhost:4155/

For us, it would make the code quite a bit more complex and entangled.
Specifically it would be less modular - replacing the SimpleHTTPServer
with e.g. twisted would no longer be trivial, instead you'd have to have
a hacked up twisted server that can serve bzr:// at the same time. I
don't think the benefits to users are enough to pay this price, even
though its a cute trick.

> Or maybe you should have options, defaulting to on, as to whether it
> will serve dumb files, bzr hpss, and a pretty web interface.

All three of these are still conceptually work fine on pure HTTP, but I
wouldn't be against options to disable parts of the http server if
needed. (I don't think its needed because we'll disable the VFS once we
can anyway - it was always intended as a supporting mechanism not a long
term feature).

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