Re: Distributed SCM in Gnome (Was: Git vs SVN (was: Can we improve things?))

I don't use DSCM myself because Trac doesn't support it, but merely
the ability to commit without Internet access is enough to convince me
about its superiority over Subversion.

I think there is quite a few different options for GNOME to proceed
with DSCM, some of which are bad and some which are good:

1. Do nothing. Continue with Subversion.
2. Switch all of GNOME to DSCM of choice.
3. Implement a system where everyone can choose for them self what SCM
   they want to use.
4. Select one DSCM as the blessed one which GNOME will provide hosting
   for. Maintainers are then free to either use it or continue with
   Subversion as usual.

I think 1) is a bad option. Check out or some other
hacker blogs. The cool kids and the cool new projects use, almost
without exception, git, and are not hosted on That is,
the innovative people and their innovative projects are moving away
from GNOME because they are not happy with its hosting infrastructure. ceases to be the central place for future growth and
instead becomes a maintenance ground for projects that, while robust,
are so last gen.

2) is also bad for the diametrically opposite reason. It scares away
all the translators, documentation writers and maintainers who are
critical in ensuring that GNOME:s quality is world class. Besides, I
hope a total switch is totally out of the question if only because
there are still documents referring to the CVS repositories. Imagine
the confusing caused by switching yet again.

3) is to hard and also confusing. If you have to learn six different
SCM:s just to be able to check out six projects, you will get annoyed
and lose interest. Besides it is a maintenance nightmare, and what
happens when someone insists on keeping a ClearCase repository?

That leaves 4) as the best option. Those who love DSCM can use it, and
those who do not can continue to use Subversion. Obviously, not every
project would be allowed to switch. Glib for example, which is needed
by everyone (and probably checked out hundreds of times per day) would
have to wait until most other projects hosted in GNOME made the
switch. But a cool new app could definity use DSCM if their authors so

The remaining question is choosing which DSCM to bless. IMHO that is
easy to answer, git is unarguably the DSCM software that has most
traction in the GNOME (and FreeDesktop) world. It should be easy to
reach a consensus since it seems most people who loves DSCM:s would
prefer *any* DSCM over Subversion. It is just a matter of being
responsible and accepting that any decision that you don't agree 100%
with is still better than no decision at all.

mvh Björn

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