How to avoid RCS and use git always?

Richard Kimberly Heck rikiheck at
Thu Dec 17 21:59:11 UTC 2020

On 12/17/20 4:45 PM, Richard Kimberly Heck wrote:
> On 12/17/20 11:22 AM, Scott Kostyshak wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 12:15:17PM +0100, Matěj Cepl wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I am trying to persuade my wife to start using VCS for her
>>> documents, and avoid pressing her to use command line for it. I
>>> thought that just by running git init in the directory her
>>> documents are stored, LyX would understand that I want to use git
>>> exclusively, but it still suggests RCS. I have to git add and git
>>> commit the document to make LyX understand my preferences.
>>> Is there somewhere some option which would switch off RCS for her
>>> forever?
>>> Best,
>>> Matěj
>> Hi Matěj,
>>  From what I understand, the reason that things are the way they are in
>> LyX is that git was added "recently". I'm not sure about adding an
>> option/preference. In general, we are hesitant to add preferences like
>> this, and I believe you're the first one to ask for it.
>> One possibility that *might* satisfy you would be to default to Git if
>> RCS is not detected on the system. For example, on Linux if the command
>> "ci" is not available and the command "git" is available, LyX could just
>> assume Git is intended and can do the setup. However, I'm not sure what
>> I think of that and I'm not sure what other LyX developers think of
>> that.
>> Although I'm also a gitophile, in my opinion the biggest downside to
>> choosing Git by default and to LyX doing "git init" is that Git can
>> create lots of files (in its internal .git directory). I do not know if
>> users would expect this and especially since using Dropbox is so common,
>> users might be surprised and confused (by Dropbox syncing) from the
>> creation of so many files.
> We could at least give users the choice when choosing "Version 
> Control> Register" of what to use. This could be as simple as a combo 
> box, right?
> It would also be nice, I think, if we could detect if we're in a 
> directory controlled by git and, if so, regsiter the file using git. 
> This is as easy as checking the return value of 'git status'. With 
> svn, I think 'svn log' will work. I don't know about other cases.

OK, I see that this is supposed to work, but it doesn't work in all 
cases. In particular, we look for .git/index, which will fail if we're 
in a subdirectory (and presumably also for svn, which is handled the 
same way). So that could be improved.

The other suggestion would then be: If we don't find any vcs in use yet, 
then we can offer to initialize one for the user. That would be more 
controversial, I guess.


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