Software\’s whipping boy

November 23, 2005

Everything Breaks

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 1:00 am

Time switch to a new source control, will be landing it by end of day tomorrow.

We are going with Mercurial I have only two complaints and that is not very high.

  1. Not many 3rd party tools that support it: like bonsai, a read-write web client and such
  2. No concept of querying by time

So for the next couple of weeks we won’t have hourly builds, change-logs, or source releases.
(OK hopefully it will be sooner than that, but I am sure I can make that date, no matter what comes up)

We will see how fast we get these things up and running.

Hope you have fun over the holiday, sorry for the interruption to playing with the latest stuff.

Look for coming soon, for those people that like to hack on stuff.



  1. Care to share the reasoning on why Mercurial?

    Comment by BillSaysThis — November 23, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

  2. Sure.

    Here is the short run down.

    What we wanted.

    1) Clean data info
    2) Better concept of changesets
    3) Performance on a 400MB + code base (including windows)
    4) Local developer checkpoints
    5) Clean rename
    6) usable by an open-source project

    Our first choice was subersion even though it didn’t have #4, but the killer was 7 minutes to do an update with no changes on windows. This is a problem with how subversion stores meta-data in conjunctions with the ntfs file system (which is optimized for large file speed not small file speed)

    So that sent us back to the drawing board.

    monotone looked good but the lack of ordered version numbers was a killer for us, because we wanted to think of data in an ordered manner.

    Also the documentation for mercurial was better

    We did not consider perforce, clearcase, bitkeeper because we need something useable by an open-source development community.

    We looked breifly at arc & darc and didn’t see anything particularly compelling for our needs.

    svk had the performance and features we needed, but being written in perl too traumatic for some of our developers with perl headaches.

    mercurial has nice clean documentation, a decent web front end, is easy to install, and has a clean code base (python) to contribute to.

    I do have another couple of weaknesses to list as I have worked more with it, rename of a directory does not preserve directory structure, and the difficult on taking a slice out of a repository to work with (say check a subdirectory out of a repository but keep full changelogs) but that is pretty minor.

    I have been very happy with the responsiveness and friendly nature of the developers on the #mercurial on

    Comment by Robin * Slomkowski — November 23, 2005 @ 6:04 pm

  3. Wow, excellent breakdown. Thanks, I think I’ll pass this along to our developers, who’re using CVS.

    Comment by BillSaysThis — November 24, 2005 @ 3:36 am

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