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The Unison codebase editing experience using plain-text tools


There are huge benefits to modeling the codebase as an immutable data structure, rather than a bag of text files that’s mutated in place. This post talks about these benefits while walking through a design for how such a codebase can be edited using ordinary tools—your favorite text editor, Git, and a simple command line tool that I’ll introduce here. The approach described is simple, easily implementable, and will let us test out the ‘user experience’ of Unison’s immutable codebase and refactoring story. Though I’ll be showing how things work with a hypothetical command-line tool, it should be pretty clear how the same workflow could be quite nicely exposed in a richer semantic editor.

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