[Haifux] [W2L] Call for lecturer + "Linux guru"

Ohad Lutzky ohad at lutzky.net
Sun Oct 18 10:51:23 MSD 2009

In the case that this is only a 20 minute lecture, I wholeheartedly agree. I
do think that git should be mentioned, in a one-liner, as "a more advanced
tool that also allows you to work offline".

So, while I agree that git is too complicated to learn in 20 minutes (takes
1-2 hours from my experience), it has a different upside when compared to
subversion: Administration is far easier. This is true for any DVCVS, and
stems from the fact that nobody needs write-access to anything but his own
files. Users will want to use whatever VCS is taught in order to
collaborate, and this requires some support work from the admins, which
should be taken into account. Either that or an alternative free,
easy-to-setup, fast and technion-accessible solution should be shown.

On Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 8:37 AM, Shachar Shemesh <shachar at shemesh.biz>wrote:

>  Ohad Lutzky wrote:
> Of course it would. But this one puts a lot of candy down that same path as
> well. These mines hurt, but are not fatal (again, from my experience, all
> mistakes can be recovered if detected within a reasonable time), and git's
> features make it, IMO, worth the trouble. For example, while many people
> find the staging area confusing (you have to "add" a file you've changed
> again in order to commit it, or just use commit -a to automatically add all
> changed files), it allows git to do awesome stuff like "git add -p"; this
> command goes over the differences from the previous version (like git diff),
> and asks you which hunks to stage. This means you can make a set of changes,
> realize it can be logically split into two, smaller sets of changes, and
> proceed to commit it as two sets of changes. Or, for a more common case, it
> allows you to stage only your actual fix to the commit without the various
> debugging statements you've added across your code in order to track down a
> bug, and do a quick "git reset --hard" afterwards.
>  There's a succinct list of reasons I like git here:
> http://whygitisbetterthanx.com/
>   I'm getting the sense that this conversation has gone off the main track
> a little. This is, I'll admit, also my fault. The question here is not
> "which VCS is better" (for which my answer, if you look at it, is
> "depends"), but "which VCS should we teach in the dev lecture of the W2L
> series".
> Here's the thing. When you first start to use a new system, what you see is
> mostly the mines. If this is the first system of its kind, you are likely to
> run into mines that are not really mines, but your misunderstanding of what
> the system is supposed to do, but still, the mines (real and conceptual) are
> mostly what you see. You do not, typically, see the candies, for the very
> simple reason that you do not understand the system well enough to
> appreciate or make use of them.
> As you use of the system matures, you learn to change your thinking to not
> regard some things as mines, and avoid the real ones. As that happens, the
> mines become less and less important, and the candies become more and more
> interesting. The main pre-requisite for that happening is that YOU HAVE NOT
> This thread started around a very specific question - should Haifux teach
> git, or some other version control system, as part of the development tools
> lecture. Any answer should take into account that amount of time given for
> this part of the lecture (between 10 and 20 minutes), and the amount of
> tutoring the students will have down the road (none unless they seek it).
> Under those conditions, in my opinion, git is the wrong tool because:
>    - Anyone who has any experience with VCS will, likely, have used server
>    based ones. Git, for them, contains all of the misconception mines that go
>    with a distributed revision control
>    - Git has some actual bone-fide mines, lain on the path traversed even
>    by relatively basic VCS operations.
>    - None of the candies matter, as you only have 20 minutes (best case)
>    to show them the tool and set them on their way, and the candies require the
>    user to "get" version control in order to be appreciated.
> With the amount of time you have, you will be lucky to get 20% to
> appreciate the fact they can restore any version they checked in in the
> past. Showing them git because it can split a single change into multiple
> commits will fly so far over their heads, I'm afraid none of them will even
> run a single git command to even check out the water.
> Shachar
> --
> Shachar Shemesh
> Lingnu Open Source Consulting Ltd.http://www.lingnu.com

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that
is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to
- William Hazlitt

Ohad Lutzky
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