Bookmarks in core?

Didly Bom didlybom at
Wed Dec 1 03:20:19 CST 2010

On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM, Martin Geisler <mg at> wrote:

If one could mark a bookmark as fixed, then it would behave like a tag,
> but without any extra commits. Users could then use these bookmark-tags
> for new tags if they want, whereas other users can keep using old-school
> tags if they prefer.
> So no hiding and no changes to the existing tag code -- just a new kind
> of bookmark that knows that it should not move around when commits are
>  made.

That is exactly what I meant and what I was hoping for :-)

Btw, I'm not really bothered by the extra commits or the .hgtags file,
> but it has been a repeated complain by many users who feel it is "ugly"
> to have Mercurial meta data in the working copy like that. I would like
> to offer them a solution.

I do feel that they are ugly but I understand that it may be just a matter
of taste. However I also know from personal experience that tag handling is
one of the few mercurial features that is genuinely confusing for new users.

A few months ago I introduced mercurial into my company as an (amazingly
good) alternative to clear-case (yuk! yuk! yuk!). Since then I have taught
how to use mercurial to more than 20 people. I am really happy that no one
has had any real trouble learning how to use it. It seems that the mercurial
model just makes sense.

However, there is a question that pretty much everybody makes at some point,
which is: "why does mercurial create a new commit when you add a tag?". The
answer makes sense once you understand how mercurial works, yet it often
leads to more questions such as "Then, why don't you lose your tags when you
update to an old revision?" (because mercurial treats the .hgtags file as a
special case) or "If I tag an old revision, why does the tag commit appear
at the top of the history?" (because the commit is created as a child of
your previous current revision), etc. Not to mention the complaints such as
"This makes the history graph more complex", etc.

So having an _alternative_ to the current way in which tags work would
definitelly get a +100 from me :-)



P.S.- Augie, thanks for the explanation! Now I see what you meant.
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