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Re: SVN is not truly distributed?

From: Greg Hudson <ghudson_at_MIT.EDU>
Date: 2002-08-06 16:31:51 CEST

On Tue, 2002-08-06 at 10:17, Alexy Khrabrov wrote:
> I will predict that you will never see a centralized system evolve into
> a distributed system.

To some extent, this is like someone from Microsoft saying that you can
never build a good desktop GUI on top of a Unix-like system, that you
have to design your whole operating system around your GUI. Microsoft
has a vested interest in people believing that, and I think most people
would say that MacOS X proves they were wrong.

But fundamentally, Larry is right: distributed operation is not one of
Subversion's design goals, and that is likely to show. Subversion 1.0
won't be able to copy or merge files between repositories, and you
certainly won't be able to commit several sets of changes to a local
repository and propagate them, with history, from there to a central
repository at a later date. These features might be added at a later
time, but they might run into fundamental assumptions with resulting
clumsiness. For instance, the way we handle copy history right now is
very much tied to a single repository, so if you "svn cp" a file from
one repository to another, it may turn out that nothing will remember
where that copy came from, so (unlike a copy within a repository) "svn
log" won't show the full history of the resulting file.

The real question, which is yet to be determined, is whether we will be
able to handle the 90% of distributed operation which people actually
want. Some people say that Subversion is already good enough for them
because you can do local diffs and status operations without talking to
any repository at all. So you can do a fair amount of work on an
airplane, you just can't do intermediate commits.

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Received on Tue Aug 6 16:32:26 2002

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