Seriously... version control is hard
Posted Apr 7, 2005 0:46 UTC (Thu) by gstein
In reply to: Actually, Monotone is *sweet*
Parent article: Linus on the BK withdrawal
Larry is right. Version control is hard. Believe me, I was part of the team that built Subversion. It took us four years to get to 1.0. It was useful long before then. But polishing the edges and making dead sure that you would never lose a single piece of data... that takes a long time.
We were self-hosting in 1.5 years. The next 2.5 years were the fit and finish.
Go ahead and try to build a version control system. To some extent, yes: it isn't all that hard. You'll have the basics done in a month. We are all so familiar with the functionality of the system that we understand the needed functionality very well. But reducing that to practice is really, really frickin' difficult. Have you considered a delta algorithm? network protocol? working copy metadata? merge system? storage system? authentication, encryption, authorization? The list goes on and on.
I've said it before at CodeCon 2003: Larry's right. Version control is hard. I'm sad to see what's happening [to the kernel] right now, and I don't think Larry's been acting all that nicely towards OSDL, but I will agree with him on this topic.
to post comments)