3. What’s New

3.1. TortoiseHg 2.0

3.1.1. Philosophy

The following philosophical changes were made between TortoiseHg 1.0 and TortoiseHg 2.0.

3.1.1.1. Workbench

We wanted a single ‘TortoiseHg’ application which can access nearly all TortoiseHg (and Mercurial) functionality and that could be launched by a desktop or start menu shortcut. So we developed the Workbench application.

The Workbench can support multiple repositories open at a time via “Repo Tabs” across the top of the main window.

Each repository tab supports multiple “Task Tabs” beneath its graph splitter. These task tabs are switchable via icons on the side of the Workbench or via application menus. Available task tabs include a changeset browser, a commit tool, a manifest browser, a history search widget, and a sync widget.

Also available are two dockable widgets - a Repository Registry which lists all known repositories on your local machine and an Output Log Window which displays running command lines and their output and can also function as a minimal shell.

3.1.1.2. Showing Mercurial command lines

In an effort to educate users on Mercurial’s command interface, nearly all commands are executed in the log window, displaying the full command line and Mercurial’s output (progress indication is provided by progress bars inside the Workbench status bar). The few tools that do not use a command log window will generally display the command line they execute.

3.1.1.3. Resolve tool, deliberate merges

TortoiseHg 2.0 introduces a resolve dialog for resolving conflicted file merges. It shows the users all the files that require resolution and those files that have been resolved, allowing merges to be verified.

As supported by Mercurial’s resolve command, individual file merges may be restarted as many times as necessary to get the merge correctly completed.

By default, TortoiseHg will use the resolve dialog to resolve all conflicts, including trivial conflicts. It instructs Mercurial to never merge files automatically, deferring their resolution until the resolve dialog can be launched. This is true for merges, update commands that require content merges, rebases, and backouts.

3.1.1.4. Shelve Improved

TortoiseHg 2.0 includes a new shelve tool which is capable of moving changes between your working directory, a shelf file, or an unapplied MQ patch.

3.1.1.5. Revision Sets

We have replaced the filter bar of the Repository Explorer with a revision set bar in the Workbench. Revision sets were introduced in Mercurial 1.6 and have been integrated with an increasing number of commands in each subsequent release. They are a powerful query language for finding and specifying revisions in your repository.

The Workbench also includes a revision set editor which both teaches the user the available keywords and their arguments, and offers brace matching, auto-completions, and other editing amenities.

In TortoiseHg 2.0, incoming and outgoing changesets are visualized as revision sets. In previous versions they were represented by graph annotations.

3.1.2. Technology

3.1.2.1. Qt and PyQt

TortoiseHg 2.0 has been a near rewrite of all of the tools and dialogs taking advantage of Nokia’s excellent Qt UI framework and Riverbank Computing’s fine PyQt Python bindings.

3.1.2.2. QScintilla2

TortoiseHg uses the QScintilla2 editing component extensively to:

  • display file contents and diffs with syntax highlighting
  • display annotations with syntax highlighting
  • edit commit messages with auto-completion of filenames and source symbols
  • edit revision set strings with brace matching and auto-completion

One can configure the QScintilla2 tab stop parameter using the settings tool, while white space visibility and wrap are controlled by context menus.

3.1.2.3. Polling of repository state and config

The Workbench and other applications like the commit tool will poll repositories on your local machine to detect changes made to either the repository or their configuration files, and automatically update running applications as necessary. Nearly all configuration changes are effective immediately, with the notable exception of enabling or disabling Mercurial extensions. Changes to extension configuration generally require application restarts before they take effect.

3.1.2.4. Immediate bug report dialogs

Prior to TortoiseHg 2.0, bug reports were written to stderr as they occured and stderr was captured and scanned at exit to report those errors to the user. While we gained many valuable bug reports via this mechanism, there was rarely any context on what operations caused these bugs.

In TortoiseHg 2.0, we have created a generic exception handler that catches all Python exceptions that are otherwise unhandled by application code. This allows us to display exception tracebacks almost immediately after they occur (after a short timeout to collect consecutive exceptions together). The hope is that future bug reports will contain better reproduction instructions, or at least context for the tracebacks.

3.1.2.5. Demand loaded graph

To keep refreshes as efficient as possible, the graphing algorithm will only load a couple hundred revisions initially during a refresh, and then load further revisions only when those revisions are required to be displayed. You will notice scrolling through the graph is jerky, these are bulk loads of revisions into the graph. To avoid this jerkiness you can force TortoiseHg to load all revisions in the graph via the Load all revisions option from the View menu.