Question about Source Control

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Thu Mar 20 23:34:23 CET 2014

On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 9:19 AM, Gregory Ewing
<greg.ewing at> wrote:
> Chris Angelico wrote:
>> You can then offer a non-source-control means of downloading that
>> specific revision.
> Just keep in mind the downside that you can't then
> push or pull your changes directly back into the main
> repository. You can generate a patch file for the
> project maintainer to apply, however. Hg makes it
> very easy to produce a patch file between any two
> revisions.

Yes, but a lot of people just want to get the software, they don't
actually need to generate patch files :)

> Also, unless the project is truly ancient, the
> whole history might not be as big as you expect.
> The code presumably grew to its present size
> incrementally, in an approximately monotonic
> manner, so the sum of all the diffs is probably
> about the same order of magnitude as the current
> code size.
> As an experiment, I just cloned a copy of the
> CPython repository, and it's about 300MB. A
> tarball of Python 3.2 that I downloaded and
> compiled earlier is about 75MB. That's a ratio
> of about 4, and CPython is a pretty ancient
> project!

Yep! But cloning requires that you have Mercurial installed and, more
importantly, know how to use it. We don't have a huge proliferation of
source control systems these days, but if someone says "Our code is
available via Perforce", I'm going to just look for a tarball
download, rather than figure out a source control system I don't know.


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