[Numpy-discussion] Moving away from svn ?

Christopher Barker Chris.Barker@noaa....
Sun Jan 6 01:11:11 CST 2008

David Cournapeau wrote:
>> 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.
> I don't understand this argument: do your co-workers use scipy now but
> would not if the code source would be kept under a VCS which has no
> GUI ?

Sorry, that wasn't the point. My co-workers (and most folks) use 
numpy/scipy by downloading binaries, or maybe tarballs, so what VCS is 
used is, indeed, pretty irrelevant to most users.

Would good multi-platform GUI support of the VCS make for more 
contributers to numpy/scipy? I don't know. At least at the numpy level 
the kinds of folks that are likely to contribute are probably 
command-line savvy, etc (though the command line on Windows really, 
really sucks!)

My point was that there is a benefit to using a widely known and used 
tool that lots of folks are using for their own projects as well. I use 
SVN every day, and I'm far more likely to go get and look at SVN head of 
some open source project because of that. I'm kind of dreading that I'll 
soon need to figure out svn, mercurial, and who knows what other VCSs in 
order to keep up with the various projects I like to keep up with.

The discussion here has been compelling, however. I see these benefits:

1) Better merge. svn merge does suck, so that would be great. It sounds 
like it may well get better, but no time soon.

2) Easier to to create sub-versions of the main tree -- experimental 
projects that groups of folks can work on. I started out, from reading 
Linus' note, thinking that that was really only beneficial for 
kernel-scale projects, but I now see that it could be nice for much 
smaller scale projects as well. I do still think scipy could probably 
support the few of those that will really happen with svn branches, but 
then we're back to that merge problem again!


Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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