hg config

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso jordigh at octave.org
Tue Aug 13 09:26:25 CDT 2013

So we all know that git has git-config that will write to .gitrc and
we all know what mpm thinks about doctors who don't want to see blood.
We have also all experienced when teaching hg the apprehension that
users nevertheless have to configuring Mercurial.

My contention is that doctors aren't afraid of blood. They're just
afraid of knowing which organ they have to cut open and what this
organ looks like. Users are afraid of finding the right config file
and the proper syntax for editing it.

So I want to work on an hg config command that only has two calling forms:

    hg config
    hg config --repo

The first one opens ~/.hgrc (or its moral equivalent) in a text editor
and the second one opens .hg/hgrc. It should use some n00b friendly
text editor (e.g. xdg-open or its moral equivalent in other OSes).

In addition, hg should provide default ~/.hgrc and .hg/hgrc templates.
The .hg/hgrc should just contain a brief explanation in the comments
about how to add new paths. and the default ~/.hgrc should explain how
to setup ui.username and commented-out safe-ish extensions (e.g.
pager, color, progress, graphlog, and some warning sign and
commented-out rebase and histedit). There should also be a comment
near the top "type "hg help config" to learn about more configuration

So, does this proposal or something like it have any hope of working?
I know users can edit config files. They just need a gentle nudge.

- Jordi G. H.

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