[Numpy-discussion] Moving away from svn ?

Chris Barker Chris.Barker@noaa....
Sat Jan 5 01:21:19 CST 2008

hmmm. Everyone posting so far seems to be positive on this idea, but I'm 
not so sure. A few thoughts:

1) change is bad. It may be worth it, but this decision needs to be made 
very differently than if we were starting from scratch.

2) apparently svn merge sucks compared  to other merge technology. svn 
(and cvs before it) is the only system I'm used, and yes, merging is 
painful, but I have to say that it appeared to be painful because it's a 
very hard problem. Can anyone comment on why these other systems seem so 
much better? Does it have anything to do with Centralized vs. 
Distributed at all?

3) I read Linus' post -- he's quite articulate. However, it seems that 
most of his arguments really applied primarily to large projects -- 
where there really will be a lot of different "central" versions. This 
is very, very, important to the Linux kernel, and probably good for kde, 
but scipy is a monstrously smaller community. And it's not a question of 
number of devs -- but rather number of versions.

This makes me thing it really comes down to a better merge -- is there a 
way to address that problem with svn? maybe the svnmerge.py that Russel 

4) SVN is very, very, popular. Lots of folks use it, they use it on all 
common platforms, and there are tons of clients for it. I work with a 
bunch of folks that really don't like a command line (for programmers, I 
think that's just plain weird, but there you go). I could never sell a 
VCS that didn't have a decent GUI client on Windows and OS-X.

Charles R Harris wrote:
> Sometimes it is the little niggling things that matter, in this case 
> line breaks. Hg (and probably bzr), store everything as binary, so if 
> someone uses an editor that breaks line with CR or LF+CR instead of the 
> good 'ol unixy LF, there might be a lot whitespace updates coming in to 
> the repository.

Good point. In fact, line break translation was one of the features I 
loved about cvs -- too bad svn doesn't do it by default, but it can be 
made to. This is definitely one of the niggling things that matter!


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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