Distributed RVS, Darcs, tech love

Byung-Hee HWANG bh at izb.knu.ac.kr
Sat Oct 20 05:53:55 CEST 2007

On Fri, 2007-10-19 at 20:28 -0700, Xah Lee wrote:
> When i first heard about distributed revision control system about 2
> years ago, i heard of Darcs, which is written in Haskell. I was hugely
> excited, thinking about the functional programing i love, and the no-
> side effect pure system i idolize, and the technology of human animal
> i rapture in daily.
> I have no serious actual need to use a revision system (RVS) in recent
> years, so i never really tried Darcs (nor using any RVS). I just
> thought the new-fangled distributed tech in combination of Haskell was
> great.
> About few months ago, i was updating a 6-year old page i wrote on unix
> tools: ( http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/usoft.html ) and i was
> trying to update myself on the current state of art of revision
> systems. I read Wikipedia this passage:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darcs
> « Darcs currently has a number of significant bugs (see e.g. [1]). The
> most severe of them is "the Conflict bug" - an exponential blowup in
> time needed to perform conflict resolution during merges, reaching
> into the hours and days for "large" repositories. A redesign of the
> repository format and wide-ranging changes in the codebase are planned
> in order to fix this bug, and work on this is planned to start in
> Spring 2007 [2].  »
> This somewhat bursted my bubble, as there always was some doubt in the
> back of my mind about just how Darcs is not just a fantasy-ware
> trumpeted by a bunch of functional tech geekers. (i heard of Darcs in
> irc emacs and haskell channels, who are often student and hobbiests
> programers)
> Also, in my light research, it was to my surprise, that Darcs is not
> the only distributed systems, and perhaps not the first one neither,
> contrary to my impressions. In fact, today there are quite a LOT
> distributed revision systems, actually as a norm. When one looks into
> these, such as Git ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_(software) ) one
> finds that some of them are already in practical industrial use for
> large projects, as opposed to Darcs's academic/hobbist kind of
> community.
> In addition to these findings, one additional that greatly pissed me
> off entirely about Darcs, is the intro of the author (David Roundy)'s
> essay about his (questionable-sounding) “theory of patches” used in
> Darcs. ( http://darcs.net/manual/node8.html#Patch )
> Here's the 2 passages:
> «I think a little background on the author is in order. I am a
> physicist, and think like a physicist. The proofs and theorems given
> here are what I would call ``physicist'' proofs and theorems, which is
> to say that while the proofs may not be rigorous, they are practical,
> and the theorems are intended to give physical insight. It would be
> great to have a mathematician work on this, but I am not a
> mathematician, and don't care for math.»
> «From the beginning of this theory, which originated as the result of
> a series of email discussions with Tom Lord, I have looked at patches
> as being analogous to the operators of quantum mechanics. I include in
> this appendix footnotes explaining the theory of patches in terms of
> the theory of quantum mechanics. I know that for most people this
> won't help at all, but many of my friends (and as I write this all
> three of darcs' users) are physicists, and this will be helpful to
> them. To non-physicists, perhaps it will provide some insight into how
> at least this physicist thinks.»
> I love math. I respect Math. I'm nothing but a menial servant to
> Mathematics. Who the fuck is this David guy, who proclaims that he's
> no mathematician, then proceed to tell us he dosen't fucking care
> about math? Then, he went on about HIS personal fucking zeal for
> physics, in particular injecting the highly quacky “quantum mechanics”
> with impunity.

I'm gonna like your writings with all respect. Actually your writings
has the quiet force. See you often ;;

Byung-Hee HWANG <bh at izb.knu.ac.kr> * আমি তোমাকে ভালোবাসি
InZealBomb, Kyungpook National University, KOREA

"OK. Then I have to kill him."
		-- Michael Corleone, "Chapter 11", page 146

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