[Python-Dev] PEP: Migrating the Python CVS to Subversion

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Aug 9 07:15:48 CEST 2005

>>>>> "Donovan" == Donovan Baarda <abo at minkirri.apana.org.au> writes:

    Donovan> It all comes down to how painless branch/merge is. Many
    Donovan> esoteric "features" of version control systems feel like
    Donovan> they are there to workaround the absence of proper
    Donovan> branch/merge histories.

It's not that simple.  I've followed both the Arch and the darcs
lists---they handle a lot more branch/merge scenarios than Subversion
does, but you still can't get away with zero discipline.  On the other
hand, for the purpose of the main repository for a well-factored
project with disciplined workflow like Python, it's not obvious to me
that the middle-complexity scenarios are that important.

Furthermore, taking good advantage of the more complex branch/merge
scenarios will require a change to Python workflow (for example, push-
to-tracker will no longer be a convenient way to submit patches for
most developers); that will be costly.  More important, since none of
the core Python people have spoken up strongly in favor of an advanced
system, I would guess there's little experience to support planning a
new workflow.  (Cf. the Linux case, where Linus opted to roll his own.)

I know many people in the Emacs communities who are successfully using
CVS for the main repositories and various advanced systems (prcs,
darcs, arch at least) for local branching and small group project
communication.  It seems fairly easy to automate that (much easier
than extracting changeset information from CVS!)  I think that as
developers find they have need for such capabilities, the practice
will grow in Python too, and then there may be a case to be built for
moving the main repository to such a system.

School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
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