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Re: Subversion, decentralized version control, and the future.

From: Roy Franz <roy.lists_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2007-07-07 02:27:55 CEST

On 7/6/07, Danny van Heumen <danny.vanheumen@hccnet.nl> wrote:
> Karl Fogel wrote:
> > "Roy Franz" <roy.lists@gmail.com> writes:
> >> I hope that as Subversion continues to mature that these issues will
> >> be addressed.
> >> I think that many users expect a version control system to care about
> >> the concepts of branches and tags, even if the underlying
> >> implementation doesn't care.
> >
> > Couldn't have said it better. Thanks, Roy, that was a much-needed
> > description of how our branches look from the user's point of view.
>
> What bothers me most is the fact that, at the moment, 'tags' and
> 'branches' are "the thing".
> (I'm looking at this from a point of view where 'branches' and 'tags'
> are just ways of working with existing data for i.e. stabilizing an
> application.)
>
> But what if tomorrow some VCS invents something new? I do acknowledge
> the fact that there's a great need for a user interface that makes
> tagging/branching easier, quicker and shorter (length of the command) to
> do. But I don't think it should be something to implement in the main
> application.
>
> Danny
>
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>

Tags and branches have been widely used in VCS systems for well over a decade,
so I think they are more than a fad. If a better model develops in
the future it can be evaluated at that time. Putting off fixing
current problems because a future invention might make them obsolete
is not good reasoning. (I don't mean to imply that tags/branches are
the be-all/end-all, but they are quite effective for many uses.)

Also, while I am one of the people hoping for improved 'first-class'
treatment of tags/branches in subversion, I don't see that this
necessarily implies a big change to the versioned filesystem that
Subversion implements. For example, it is probably possible to
address most of these tag/branch issues by just keeping additional
metadata about certain operations. The versioned filesystem with cheap
copies that SVN provides is very elegant, but I don't see any reason
that this would need to be compromised to improve in these other
areas.

Roy

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Received on Sat Jul 7 02:27:39 2007

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