Response file as an alternative to command line passing of arguments/commands/options?

Steve Borho steve at
Thu Dec 23 12:20:20 CST 2010

2010/12/23 Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen <lasse at>:
> The reason I'm asking the following question is that I'm writing a .NET
> class library that wraps around the Mercurial command line client, and
> ".NET-ifies" the interface, eventually building a command line and executing
> it, capturing and parsing the output from the client back into .NET.
> Then I found this question on Stack
> Overflow:,
> indicating that a program generated a too long command line for Mercurial,
> the shell, or whatever, to process.
> Then it dawned on me that the problem described in that question might be a
> problem for my library as well, although I don't know how big that would be.
> I will test to get the exact limits.
> However, at this point I thought that perhaps the Mercurial command client
> has a way for me to put all the arguments to it into a text file, and just
> ask it to read from that in addition to whatever is on the command line,
> however digging into the help file doesn't seem to give me any way to do
> that.
> Asking on irc (#Mercurial @ freenode) seems to indicate that this issue has
> been asked on the mailing list before, and discard, so I have a couple of
> questions:
> 1. Is there such a way?
> 2. If not, wouldn't it be a good idea, seeing as the command line
> is advertised as the stable public API
> (ref:, if you read the
> question linked to above, the way to get around it was to commit in batches,
> surely that can't be the right way to do it?
> 3. What alternatives do I have? Pull up my sleeves and submit a patch?
> (though that would be aways before coming seeing as though I know Python, I
> am not an expert and I don't know the Mercurial code)
> In lieu of question #3, I was thinking that perhaps my class library could
> write out Python files instead, calling directly into the Mercurial code,
> but this would mean that I would require both Python installed and more than
> the pure binary (I'm guessing at this) to be able to actually call into the
> code from a python program.
> I also asked my own question about this on Stack Overflow, but going by the
> answers on irc, I don't think there is a way to do
> this:

Do you have links to the previous mailing list discussions?  I'm
curious why it has been rejected in the past.  I suspect this would be
a fairly simple patch, and would not break any existing APIs.

To make life simpler, it should support a null ('\0') delimited file format.

Steve Borho

More information about the Mercurial-devel mailing list