[Python-Dev] Distributed RCS

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Sun Aug 14 05:07:49 CEST 2005

> Another fwd, describing how Steve Alexander's group user bazaar.

I found this rather clear and easy to understand even without having 
directly used CVS (other than to browse).  Some of the automation features 
seem useful but I don't know whether they are specific to bazaar.  Anyway, 
my thoughts.

It seems to me that auto testing of the tentatively updated trunk before 
final commitment would avoid the 'who checked in test-breaking code' 
messages that appear here occasionally.  But it requires that the update + 
test-suite time be less than the average inter-update interval.

I understand the main difference between baz and cvs (and similar) to be 
that checked-out-to-developers copies remain 'within' the distributed 
system and accessible to the master system rather than becoming external 
(and lost track of) copies.  In consequence (again if I understand 
correctly), pre- and post-review diffs and merges are done directly between 
the developers branch and the current system trunk rather than (for diffs) 
with a possibly out-of-date master on the developer's machine, leading to 
trunk updates with a possibly out-of-date diff.  If so, this would 
eliminate reviewers having to make requests such as 'please run a new diff 
against the current CVS head' that I remember sometimes seeing on the SF 

The current bottleneck in Python development appears to be patch reviews. 
So merely making submission and commitment easier will not help much.  An 
alternative to more reviewers is more automation to make more effective use 
of existing reviewers.  (And this might also encourage more reviewers.) 
The Launchpad group seems to be ahead in this regard, but I don't know how 
much this is due to using bazaar.  In any case, ease of improving the 
review process might be a criterion for choosing a source code system.  But 
I leave this to ML.

*Other things being equal*, using a state-of-the-art development system 
written in Python to develop Python would be a marketing plus.

Terry J. Reedy

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