Re: git-scm.com refresh

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On Sun, May 6, 2012 at 3:39 AM, Junio C Hamano <gitster@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Scott Chacon <schacon@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
>
>>> As "diff" is listed in "Basic Snapshotting", and it will not
>>> be able to achieve that without being able to apply its output back to the
>>> working tree or to the index, I would suggest moving "apply" to the
>>> section as well.
>>
>> I have to disagree.  You are thinking of 'apply' from an internals
>> perspective I have to assume, because I use 'diff' every single day
>> for all sorts of stuff ("what is modified and unstaged?", "what is
>> modified and staged?", "what is different between these two branches?"
>> etc) ...
>
> The other day when I was surfing the 'net, I found a blog that was
> complaining about Git UI.  Some of the things were worth listening to, but
> there was one item I really had to scratch my head where the misconception
> behind the complaint came from.  I am typing from memory without bothering
> to go back to the site to quote, but the complaint essentially was:
>
>        Getting a patch is easy with "git diff", but to apply it you need
>        to make it an email and feed it to "git am"???  That's crazy.
>
> Of course it *is* crazy, if that were the case. I was wondering why the
> obvious "patch" (or "git apply") did not get into the mind of the author,
> and I think I now know why.
>
> If the owner of the site that people call "git's home page" does not care
> about those who take diffs and apply them as patches, and thinks "git
> apply" as a mere implementation detail of "git am", it is understandable
> that such a misconception is spread widely to harm users without getting
> corrected. Who knows other Git fanboys are spreading misinformation in a
> similar way. Sigh...

So you think moving "git apply" to another section there is going to
fix the problem? And what is the problem? That some random guy in a
blog post thinks it's crazy to use 'git format-patch' and 'git am'? I
don't think that's a problem worth worrying about, and I don't think
it's crazy.

Who cares if people don't know about "git apply"? I too have used it
very rarely, and almost every time I gave up. It's not really useful
because if there are conflicts (and there usually are), the thing just
fails, and 'git apply --reject' (horrible name BTW; apply and reject a
patch?) is too cumbersome. It's much easier to just avoid it.

>> ... where I can't think of a single time I've ever used 'apply'.  In
>> fact, even the times when I have needed to apply a patch generated
>> from 'diff' I used 'patch -p1' because I know it better.
>
> As you are supposed to be one of the top-level Git Teachers, I wish you
> knew better.  Here is a free Git lesson.  Consider "git apply" as
>
>    a better version of "patch" that knows how to work better with Git by
>    understanding rename and binary patches, and allows them to be applied
>    to the working tree and the index (the latter is most useful when the
>    patch contains new files)
>
> and teach it as such.

It's still basically useless.

> "diff" pairs with "apply", and "format-patch" pairs with "am".

A contributor uses 'format-patch' often, a maintainer uses 'am' often,
but who uses 'apply'? Nobody. Who uses 'diff'? Everybody.

'git diff' is *essential* to see what's going on with the staging
area, and the working directory.

When do you actually *need* 'git apply'? Never; you can always achieve
the same in different ways probably much easier.

> I wouldn't mind adding "git patch" as a built-in synonym/alias for "git
> apply", if you think that would make the above pairing more obvious.  Many
> computer users know what "patch" does already even they have never used
> any SCM.

'git patch' would certainly make more sense, but even more would be to
make it actually usable so mergetool could be used in case of
conflicts, or even just having the typical conflict markers.

But even with all that, it still wouldn't be as essential as 'git diff'.

Cheers.

-- 
Felipe Contreras
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