Why Darcs users prefer Darcs over Bazaar (was: pbranches style plugin)

Ben Finney ben+bazaar at benfinney.id.au
Fri Jun 5 11:06:07 BST 2009

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at xemacs.org> writes:

> Ben Finney writes:
>  > I work with several Darcs enthusiasts who have tried to explain
>  > what it is they like about the system,
> A lot of Darcs users don't really care about the model of changes,
> beyond "it's cool and very simple".

I've never had any Darcs enthusiast initiate an explanation of the data
model, actually. It only ever emerges from discussion about how
behaviour foo is more desirable than behaviour bar.

> What they like is the UI, especially the ability to decide hunk by
> hunk which changes to record in which patch, but also the relatively
> small set of commands (most of which have lots of options, but once
> you've set the defaults to your liking, you rarely have to change
> them). If your coworkers can't explain what they like about "patch
> theory", maybe to a great extent they fall into that category?

Perhaps so. It's that discussion about behaviour which leaves me still
searching for what's so attractive.

>  > but its model of changes seems even more intangible than Git and
>  > doesn't sound at all attractive.
> That seems very strange to me.  What could be more tangible than "a
> change is a patch"?

“a change is a patch” is not as tangible as “a change is a change in
the state of the files themselves”. Patches to content aren't all I
care about when tracking a working tree under version control.

> Do you mean something like "Darcs's model of revisions as (partially
> ordered) sets of changes seems intangible"? Or that the notion of
> "branch history" is very fuzzy (in fact, it's merely the time order of
> patches in the branch, and doesn't take merging and such into
> account)?

Yes, the latter especially is what is so intangible. (For someone who
can express exactly what the issue is, I find it odd that you would say
“that seems very strange to me” :-)

Leaving it to algorithmic inference to derive the very thing that I
depend on the VCS to track, and not just storing it directly in the
revision data, seems like missing the whole point.

 \       “We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the |
  `\       sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his |
_o__)     wife is beautiful and his children smart.” —Henry L. Mencken |
Ben Finney

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