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Subject: [boost] DCVS vs CVS: call for constructivism
From: Philippe Vaucher (philippe.vaucher_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-03-22 07:47:16


I think we all know understood that there are people from both camps, some
with emotional arguments, some with constructive arguments, but it's not
really moving anywhere. We need to start listing what would have to be done
and once we have such a map see if it's worth it before discussing
pointless things.

Just so we can redirect people saying things like "Nobody told me a real
advantage yet" to this post, here's a recapitulation of what I think the
advantages/disadvantages of a DCVS is (,


- Offline work (you can use diffs, you can commit)
- Speed of operations compared to svn
- No need to setup a server to work locally (encourages participation
(focus on working first, then sharing later))


- Cannot check out subpaths
- Cannot lock files
- Would require people to change their habits and learn new tools

I think most people in the svn-camp will tell that with the 1.8 checkpoints
feature you can now also commit while offline and thus the only advantages
for DCVS seems to be speed and the ability to check all the data while
offline. I think the people that are opposed to the change unfortunately
won't be convinced by those arguments, even tho pretty much every who
switched to DCVS will tell you that the advantages are worth it and it's
more than simply speed or freedom, it's a philosophy etc.

So I think the best thing to do now is first to make a map of what would
have to be done if we decided to switch, to see if it's an option at all.
Here's a simple draft, please participate into making it better:

- Import current history
- Migrate the existing hooks
- Migrate the existing scripts around.
- Migrate the test runners
- Trac / Website integration (redmine with git extensions?)
- Rights management (gitolite?)
- Update release procedures

Maybe we'd start a page on the wiki, but the idea is to find out if there
are more steps to be done and if there's any showstopper in those steps.

I think the best solution would be to offer the repository with several
protocols, namely git/hg/svn so everyone could use the tool they want (e.g
github offers svn/git, I know other hosts do it too).


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