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Re: Projects?

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2003-10-22 01:48:39 CEST

Here are some points based on real empirical evidence, rather than
fuzzy feelings:

 * Subversion has been self-hosting for over two years. Many other
   projects have been using Subversion for nearly as long. What is
   the result of this experiment?

   Answer: global revision numbers work really well; nobody is
   confused, nobody is wishing it were vastly different, everyone is
   used to it. It makes many, many things extremely easy and
   conceptually clear. If the design had backfired, we would have
   gone back to the drawing board early on.

 * Every once in a while, somebody comes to the list, and says,
   "global revisions are a bad idea", or "I can't live without
   per-file or per-project revision numbers". We tell them to try it
   out, and they come back and say, "hey yeah, it does work."

 * Global revision numbers aren't real revision numbers; they're just
   names for commits/changesets. Instead of labeling them "1, 2, 3.."
   we could have generated names like "blue, red, green". They have
   nothing do with any particular project, so placing N projects in a
   repository is not a problem. When Garrett said it was a matter of
   psychology, he wasn't accusing you of having a psychological
   problem; he was simply saying that new users tend to fixate on the
   revision numbers, giving them more meaning than they really have.
   After a couple weeks of using SVN, the attitude changes, and users
   come to understand revisions as mere commit-labels. That's the
   "psychological change" we're talking about.

There's a certain absurdity to the situation here: I'm seeing one
person who has never used Subversion, trying to argue to dozens of
satisfied users that the model is deficient in various ways.

I'm not sure what to tell you, except, 1) read the book, and 2) try it out.

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Received on Wed Oct 22 01:51:15 2003

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