Hi joey,

I was recently moving many of my git annex repos around. This caused all of the (partly auto-generated) repo descriptions (e.g. user@host:path) to be outdated, making it more difficult to re-add them later from another host. Updating all of them manually was really error prone and tedious.

What do you think about having git annex update the repo description "from time to time"? git annex sync|assist|... could check if the current repo description matches what the auto-generated string would be and update it accordingly.

I see the following problems with this:

  • Adding this check to each and every git annex command is probably not a good idea. Maybe git annex sync and git annex assist. The overhead might be negligible though.
  • How to detect if the current description was really auto-generated and not user-specified? git annex could parse it with a regex (e.g. (?P<user>[^@]+@(?P<host>[^:]+:(?P<path>.*)$) and if that matches could assume it was auto-generated. Feels a little fragile though.

Maybe the whole auto-updating idea is not ideal, but a new command like git annex redescribe or git annex autodescribe or git annex describe --auto could be introduced, so users can run it periodically or on-demand. Following the discussion on 'git annex sync defaulting to syncing content', I have a feeling that people wouldn't like git annex messing with their repo descriptions 😉. Ideally, auto-describing would (optionally) also be able to update remotes' descriptions properly.

All of this could also be done by a third-party program, but having this functionality in git annex itself would be handy.