monotone autotags

Tim Ringenbach tim.ringenbach at
Sat May 5 12:31:41 EDT 2007

This email is a feature request for monotone, that I'm running by you guys
instead, to see if it's actually a feature we would be interested in.

Monotone's SHA1 revision numbers seem less than useful to me. Sure, they're
great at uniquely identifying a revision. But they're impossible to
remember, which makes talking about them difficult. If someone asked me a
question about revision c4af5d58ae0a812912ffe29dc285f3d08afb5425 I would
have no clue what they were talking about without looking at my commit
emails or running a mtn command. Furthermore, I would have to copy and paste
because I wouldn't be able to remember that number long enough to type it
in. (Actually that's not true, both email search and monotone will let you
enter just the beginning of it).

So I was thinking, what if we tagged reach revision with something actually
memorable. I have no idea if that would hurt monotone's performance or
anything like that. Thinking further, I wouldn't want all those tags showing
up with the release tags, so monotone would need some way to flag them as
less important. In addition, it would be cool if monotone would
automatically add a prefix and postfix to the tag. Hence I'm calling this
potential monotone feature request "autotags". I picture it working
something like this:

mtn ci --auto-tag whitespace

That revision gets tagged with something like marv at pidgin.im_whitespace_3
(pretending I had used that same tag twice before).
Perhaps it could be a line to fill out in the commit template in vim,
instead of a command line argument.

I think this scheme makes the tags mostly unique, but since they're just
aliases for the sha1's, it's not the end of the world if they're not. (How
does monotone handle duplicate tags, btw?)

What does everyone think? I'm running it by you all first before I even
think of actually filing it as a feature request to monotone. There's no
point in me requesting such a feature if you guys don't even think it's

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