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Re: How to Keep Track of Changes to the System

On 26/08/17 16:10, Joe wrote:
>> Thank you for the list of solutions.  It is interesting that SVN can
>> be used with etckeeper.  It looks like I should learn git.  I have
>> used SVN for other things, but I am easily pulled from my comfort
>> zone for value.  
> Git is very widely used, and on important projects, so it is being
> vigorously maintained. It's probably the right choice for new projects.
New project should use Mercurial. Existing project should switch to

Although Git can do anything that can be needed (and so can Mercurial),
the difference is that Git has an horrendously designed interface and
the concepts it is based on are many times irrational.

For example, consider the “git reset” command. This one deserves an
award for the most irrationally designed command in all of GNU/Linux.

If you want to change what commit the current branch points to, you must
use “git reset”, and you must memorize the meanings of “--soft”,
“--mixed”, “--hard” and “--keep”. If you do it wrong (e.g.: “keep”
instead of “--mixed”, you lose data).

But surprisingly, git reset does not always change what commit the
current branch points to. Sometimes it just moves files from a commit to
the index (“staging area”). (“git reset <COMMIT> -- .”).

So “git reset” does 4 things with little relation: Sometimes it moves
what commit the current branch points to and *maybe* changes the working
directory and staging area. Sometimes it just de-stages your staged
changes (“git reset”). Sometimes it cancels a failed merge. Sometimes it
copies files from an older commit to the staging area. These tasks are
group into a single command for no logical reason.

Now, this is no problem *after* you have learned how to use Git. You may
even think that well, it ought to be difficult to learn how to use it,
but that is incorrect. It is difficult only because the interface and
the concepts behind it are irrationally designed.

By contrast, Mercurial interface is very clean. Every command always
does one simple thing. This does not mean that it is less powerful.
Although in a previous time (years ago) when one could not do powerful
history modification as in Git, that era is now history.

Imagine how many man-hours are wasted learning how to use Git, which
would otherwise be used to do actual programming.

Do not eat animals, respect them as you respect people.

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