[Python-Dev] On distributed vs centralised SCM for Python

Bryan O'Sullivan bos at serpentine.com
Tue Aug 16 00:19:40 CEST 2005

On Mon, 2005-08-15 at 23:29 +0200, "Martin v. Löwis" wrote:

> That may be off-topic for python-dev, but can you please explain how
> this works?

It's simple enough.  In place of a central server that hosts a set of
repositories and a number of branches, and to which only a few people
have access, you use a central server that hosts a number of
repositories, and you get the idea.

But the difference lies in the way you use it.  In the centralised
model, there's only one server, and only one repository, anywhere.  In
the distributed model, each developer has one or more repositories that
they keep in sync with the central ones they are interested in, pulling
and pushing changes as necessary.  The difference is that they get to
share changes horizontally if they wish, without going through the
central server.

> I'm using git on the kernel level. In what way am I at the same level
> as the core developers?

You can use the same tools to do the same things they can.  You can
communicate with them in terms of commits.  You may each have access to
different sets of servers from which other people can pull changes, but
if they want to take changes from you, you have the option of giving
them complete history of all the edits and merges you've done, with no
information loss.

> So how does that work? If I commit the changes to my local version of
> the repository, how do they get peer-level-shared? 

You have to do something to share them, but it's a lot simpler than
sending diffs to a mailing list, or attaching them to a bug tracking
system note.

> Hmm. The changes of these 800 people had to be approved by some core
> developers, or perhaps even all approved by Linus Torvalds, right?


> I hear that, but I have a hard time believing it. People find the
> "cvs diff -u, send diff file for discussion to patches tracker"
> cycle quite natural.

People will find doing the same of anything, over and over for fifteen
years, quite natural :-)


Bryan O'Sullivan <bos at serpentine.com>

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