34266Re: Small nit in the manual
- Jan 2, 2004
> On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 09:06:25PM -0500, François Pinard wrote:[snip]
> > Hi, people. Would you check if the following diff is appropriate? I
On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 10:20:33PM -0500, François Pinard wrote:
> [Benji Fisher]
> > I agree with the content of your change. As for format, I prefer to
> > use the same one as the official patches: context-style diffs (diff
> > -c) generated from the top-level distribution directory. Something
> > like this for a single file:
> This is annoying... Some maintainers like context diffs and hate
> unidiffs, other maintainers just want the contrary. I find it difficult
> to remember, for every tool I use, what are the little whims of each
> maintainer. They all try to educate me into their particular habits.
I am sorry. I interpreted the first line quoted above as asking
for advice on the format as well as the content of the diff.
> Plain diffs, I would understand. But context diffs or unidiffs are
> fully equivalent, and moreover, there are tools converting between
> both, which maintainers should silently use for themselves. (I think I
> even have one somewhere in my distributions, contributed long ago by an
> employee from Borland. There are others floating around, as well.)
I think the main reason for preferring context diffs is that some
versions of patch cannot deal with the unified format. Perhaps I should
have stressed that this is a preference, not a requirement: most
readers of this list can deal with either type, but context diffs are
more convenient for a minority.
> Times have changed. Not so long ago, I would have written a very simple
> message directly to the maintainer that a "not" word was missing,
> quoting the document and the sentence, and this would have fully
> sufficient, and plain welcome. In this case, I ought to make the effort
> of prematurely subscribing to the `vim-dev' mailing list (working my
> way around a slightly broken robot, but this is another matter), and
> producing a diff for this tiny nit, well aware that a diff is likely
> overkill: a simple and quick Vim session is probably much more efficient
> than `patch' in this case. You scrutinise diffs anyway, don't you! :-)
> I spent nearly an hour for a single word, and you're still not happy?
A bug in the documentation can be reported to bugs@... (which
goes to Bram Moolenaar) just like any other bug. This address does not
require any subscription. I just appended a note to this effect to my
tip at http://www.vim.org/tips/tip.php?tip_id=618 .
I agree that, in this case, a patch is overkill. In my experience,
Bram is more than happy to accept informal notes about such corrections.
> On the other hand, it could have been much worse, and you might have
> thrown bug trackers at me :-). Who knows, I may adapt to these blatant
> failures of UI-design, but for now, I just refuse to contribute when
> maintainers want me to spend hours studying concepts and fighting bugs
> of their new Web toys, each maintainer his own, for acquiring the right
> of submitting a report. I wish Vim never goes there! For the packages
> I maintained or maintain, I warmly receive reports and suggestions as
> worth contributions, and value the time of the submitters too, not only
> mine. I'm reasonable, and they are. One of these days, I'll write a
> Web page for moaning all my soul about the current trends :-).
I think we all try to be reasonable. I am sorry for the waste of
time, especially since I am probably partly responsible. At least, I
expect it to be a one-time cost.
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