Fear of the future
Posted Dec 2, 2004 13:35 UTC (Thu) by ncm
In reply to: Looking Past CVS: The Future is Distributed
Parent article: Looking Past CVS: The Future is Distributed
The cure for fear is learning.
We have a lot of experience with CVS, and know what problems it has, and some people have good ideas of how to fix them. A distributed system is easy to make work centralized, but the reverse has not been demonstrated. CVS's flat files are reassuring, but Arch's are no less so. What's different is that if you mv a CVS file you have made it impossible to reconstitute, or branch, old versions.
Monotone puts its stuff in a database file, but that's easily extracted as a text file and operated upon. It doesn't depend on setting up http servers or anything. Subversion puts its in a bdb file, though, which makes me a bit queasy too. It can use a DAV server attached to Apache, but it doesn't need it.
Certainly these are not mature systems. There are lots of things to tune or add. The only way to know what they need is to use them, and discover it, and then code it. Some may take the wrong path, but at least one will emerge as industrially ready. They will keep one another "honest", because anybody who cares enough can compare them, and the laggard will either stagnate or adapt. CVS may be familiar, but it's also practically impervious to improvements. The code has just got too crufty, and the design is not compatible with improvements; it stagnated long ago.
Someday soon you'll be as comfortable with one of the new ones as with CVS, and the thought of going back to CVS will make you queasy instead.
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