suggestion for /usr/src/UPDATING

Charles Swiger cswiger at
Tue Aug 31 14:09:17 PDT 2004

On Aug 31, 2004, at 4:31 PM, Brooks Davis wrote:
>> I am content to let any interested committer make that decision, but I
>> ask that  whoever first go through a trial mergemaster session using
>> '1' & '2' as the keys.  'q' and 'e' are right there, and I found the
>> improvement compared to using 'l' & 'r' immediately obvious and more
>> intuitive.
> I agree the current default is confusing and counterintuitive, at least
> at first.  That's not the point.  The point is that it's been that way
> for ages and changing it would gratuitously screw all the users who 
> have
> adapted to it.  There's no reason why you couldn't preserve the old
> behavior by default and in fact I'd request a back out of any commit
> that didn't.  I don't opposes adding a second set of keys such as 1 and
> 2, just breaking the old behavior.

I am more interested in permitting users to choose which keys they 
prefer to use than I am in arguing what should be the default behavior 
of sdiff.

It seems likely that if I'd commented out line 10 of my diff rather 
than line 9, I'd be dodging brickbats from the other side, but what the 
hell, the diff is the way it is because I wanted to test and see 
whether the changes actually made a noticable difference in usability.

I came to a conclusion, but the code I submitted is more friendly about 
supporting individual opinions than the prior code, and your suggestion 
to support multiple keys for choosing left and right also sounds like a 
good idea-- probably more doable if one started with my changes.


PS: I was going to ask, Brooks, whether you could describe a process 
you'd tolerate for changing the default behavior of a program with 
unreasonable defaults?

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