Darcs needs a better frontend in emacs. Here, we collect ideas for this frontend.

  • Borrow ideas from pcl-cvs and xtla
  • record, pull, rollback, unrecord, unpull, push: Prints a list of changes or patches, and lets the user choose which he wants by marking them with SPC. (You need to parse whatsnew and changes output for this, and then interact with darcs for y/n display. You can also just send the right number of y’s and n’s, but that has problems when the repository is modified in the meantime.)
  • Incremental changelog editing using C-x v v

Here’s an idea for a summary mode which could be added to darcs.el:

M-x darcs-summary pops up a buffer display similar to pcl-cvs, showing changed files within the current project, grouped by directory. Each filename in the buffer displays the diff stats to the right. It is a tree view, so hitting RET on any file reveals a summary of all the changes in that file, with one line per diff item. These diff items also show a diff summary to the right. Hitting RET on a diff items expands the item to show actual differences:

Directory .:
  M TODO (+3)
    hunk 6 (+3)
  +- The running balance for the register report
  +  could be done more efficiently.

Keystrokes available on every item within the file (directory line, file line, diff entry line) allow you to: revert the s), display change(s) in diff format, ediff change(s), jump to that location in the source file, or add the change(s) to a “proposed patch” buffer.

The proposed patch is accumulated within a separate buffer, whose format is identical to the summary buffer, except it shows only the approved changes. It could even be that changes are “moved” from one summary buffer to another, to give a better indication of what has been confirmed, and what remains to be reviewed. An alternate method would be to bold items within the summary buffer, indicating those changes are to be committed.

Finally, when the set of desired changes is chosen and reviewed, a keystroke for “commit” builds the patch and opens a buffer for describing the change. After hitting C-c C-c, the minibuffer prompts for a one-line comment, and commits the change. – John Wiegley <>

See also