on the edge

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Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
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If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at speed


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Worthy organisations

Amnesty International Australia — global defenders of human rights

global defenders of human rights

Médecins Sans Frontières — help us save lives around the world

Médecins Sans Frontières - help us save lives around the world

Electronic Frontiers Australia — protecting and promoting on-line civil liberties in Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia


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Software resources

GNU Emacs


The FreeBSD Project

Tue, 28 Sep 2004

Version control systems (update)

The last time I wrote about this, I mainly discussed CVS, arch and Subversion. I noted issues with CVS that had been the principal factor that got people interested in developing alternatives and stated my reluctance to use CVS. I noted two issues with arch that bothered me—file naming and overall complexity. Those issues with arch seem unlikely to go away and recent comments by Tom Lord make me reluctant to get on to that train. I do agree that some of the issues that some people have noted with Subversion have some substance, although most of them don’t seem likely to affect me much. My original, and continuing, concern with subversion is its reliance on the Berkeley DB software for repository storage.

Since then, I’ve also had a look at Darcs and Monotone. I have not installed either of them, but have read all their documentation. I see that Martin has collected his various blog items on version control here, and I have found his thoughts very helpful. Unfortunately, although he admits to having tried Monotone, I could not discover what he thought about it. I’m almost tempted by Monotone, but I’d want to hear from people I trusted before spending time on it. I’m not at all convinced by Martin’s claims for simplicity in Darcs. Perhaps it is simple, for the simplest cases; but I found myself having to think hard about lots of things when I was thinking about trying it. I’m going to leave it aside for now.

And, while researching this, I just discovered that the 1.1 release of Subversion provides an alternative to the BDB storage that was bothering me so much. I think I’ll put this on hold for a little while and try out the newest Subversion and then make a decision. For now, I’m leaning more towards Subversion than any of the others. It seems to do what I want; it’s actively developed; it’s in use by big projects so it’s likely to get tested and developed further; and it no longer requires BDB.