When using the assistant on some of my repositories, I would like to retain manual control over the granularity and contents of the commit history. Some motivating reasons:

  • manually specified commit messages makes the history easier to follow
  • make a series of minor changes to a file over a period of a few hours would result in a single commit rather than capturing intermediate incomplete edits

  • manual choice of which files to annex (based on predicted usage) could be useful, e.g. a repo might contain a 4MB PDF which you want available in every remote even without git annex get, and also some 2MB images which are only required in some remotes

This particular case is now catered to by the "manual" repository group in preferred content settings. --Joey

Obviously this needs to be configurable at least per repository, and ideally perhaps even per remote, since usage habits can vary from machine to machine (e.g. I could choose to commit manually from my desktop machine which has a nice comfy keyboard and large screen, but this would be too much pain to do from my tiny netbook).

In fact, this is vaguely related to partial content, since the usefulness of the commit history depends on the context of the data being manipulated, which in turn depends on which subdirectories are being touched. So any mechanism for disabling sync per directory could potentially be reused for disabling auto-commit per directory.

According to Joey, it should be easy to arrange for the watcher thread not to run, but would need some more work for the assistant to notice manual commits in order to sync them; however the assistant already does some crazy inotify watching of git refs, in order to detect incoming pushes, so detecting manual commits wouldn't be a stretch.

You can do this now by pausing committing via the webapp, or setting annex.autocommit=false.

The assistant probably doesn't push such commits yet.