Suggested paragraph change in Chapter 4 just before figure 4.3.

Brown, NeilX D neilx.d.brown at
Tue May 24 14:02:33 CDT 2011


In re:

I am working from the above URL as of 2011MAY11, 10:23 AM local time Portland Oregon.  The
info in the earlier parts of the book said that this was the @dress to send suggestions to.

I would like to suggest a change to the paragraph immediately before the appearance of
"Figure 4.3. Repository with new copy".

Current text:

    This command causes a near-instantaneous commit in the repository,
    creating a new directory in revision 341. The new directory is a copy of
    /calc/trunk. This is shown in Figure 4.3, “Repository with new copy”. [21]
    While it's also possible to create a branch by using svn copy to duplicate
    a directory within the working copy, this technique isn't recommended. It
    can be quite slow, in fact! Copying a directory on the client side is a
    linear-time operation, in that it actually has to duplicate every file and
    subdirectory on the local disk. Copying a directory on the server,
    however, is a constant-time operation, and it's the way most people
    create branches.

As written the paragraph says that the copy command "has to duplicate every file and
subdirectory on the local disk", which is inaccurate.  (And it is confusing:  Why should
subversion be making copies of my entire disk, including the operating system boot
files, libraries, and all of my applications?  And how could it make copies of the
administrative files and other user's files which I do not even have permission to
read?  In reply to your reaction of "nobody is that clueless", please consider my
motives in sending this.)

It would be accurate as well as less confusing to phrase this more along the lines of
'has to copy every file and subdirectory within the working copy you have checked
out on your local disk'.

Also, could you please, please, put a _lot_ more work into the index?  It is way too short,
way too incomplete, and makes no effort to distinguish between "definition", "substantive
discussion", and "references in passing".  Accordingly I often can not find an item in the
index, when I do the discussion I am looking for isn't even listed, or I have to go thru 8
references where 7 are as trivial as mentioning the item in passing in a list of things.  All
3 of these drawbacks lead to frustration, delay, and often to confusion ("What was I
looking for again?").

For what it is worth,  what I regard as the gold standard of indexes was published a
long time ago at the end of of "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan & Ritche
1st Edition (_not_ the ANSI 2nd Edition).  In the intervening 30 years and dozens of
O'Reilly books I've never encountered an index as likely to answer the question I
approach it with.

If I had a clue what the formatting/tools involved were as well as when/how/where
such were welcome I might be able to feed back input/changes/entires for same.

Please keep up the good work.  I have a hard copy of the turtle book and when I see
the next edition (when _will_ it be out, please?) I'll be getting one of those as well.
While I appreciate the online copy but I prefer to read hard cover (although insufficient
indexes weigh strongly in favor of online copies).

Again thanks,

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