Re: GNOME DVCS Survey Results

On Tue, 2009-01-06 at 21:30 +0000, Alberto Ruiz wrote:
> 2009/1/6 Alexander Larsson <alexl redhat com>:
> > On Tue, 2009-01-06 at 21:01 +0100, Loïc Minier wrote:
> >> On Tue, Jan 06, 2009, Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
> >> > From what I understand, so far there has been one proposal, from Olav, who
> >> > proposed that he and John implement John's idea of implementing a git-serve
> >> > plugin for the bzr repo server.
> >>
> >>  I wonder whether you received interesting ideas in the survey itself?
> >>
> >>  As insane as it might sound, I personally wouldn't mind each module
> >>  picking its VCS.  I think common tasks which random contributors need
> >>  to achieve can be documented for all VCS-es (checkout, do some changes
> >>  and commit or create a patch).  Just like various modules are using
> >>  various programming languages or even build systems.
> >
> > Each app picking its VCS seems better than the proposed system with both
> > bzr and git. Because with the proposal you can pick any vcs you like as
> > a user, but if you didn't pick the one the maintainer used then he and
> > the other developers can't pull from you and you're left out on your own
> > development island. So, all modules would anyway need to marks out what
> > the prefered vcs for it is and all developers would have to learn both.
> Am I the only one crying on how bad and confusing is this going to be
> for newcomers?
> One of the most obvious ways to contribute to free software these days
> it to do it on the people's most used apps, which are the desktop apps
> (translator as an example). There are guys out there who doesn't even
> get the point of VCS and their first approach to them is going to be
> GNOME itself.
> Think about them trying to browse for information on "how to create my
> first patch", and this section saying "you have to figure out which
> project are you gonna pick, and then, learn to use it".

Welcome to the open source world.  Generally open source developers are
not limited to GNOME, and they eventually learn 2-3 revision control
systems.  I mean, they don't need to learn a lot of commands of each
RCS, just the basics:

  1- Checkout/clone module;
  2- Update;
  3- Create a diff of changes, redirecting to a patch file.

With those three operations alone is enough to cover 90% of all open
source developers needs when they are contributing to a project to which
they have no commit privileges.  And those two operations alone are dead
easy to learn for a number of VCSs.

Developers with commit privileges need to know just a few more commands:

  1- commit
  2- push (if applicable)

And finally maintainers need to know a few more commands, like
branching, merging, and tagging.  But they only need to learn those for
the modules they maintain.

> To be honest, I think that this discussion would just go away if we
> had Tortoise like apps integrated with jhbuild for Nautilus where you
> have a common set of graphical tools to do the most common work for
> 90% of the VCS users. Then, and only then, we could stop worrying
> about which VCS do we choose, since we won't have to fiddle with any
> command line (for god's sake, we're in 2009 already).

Disagreed.  Command line interface is often more productive than any GUI
for certain things.  I don't use any IDE for source code editing, and I
would certainly hate to have to use Nautilus for commits.

Not to say that GUIs aren't useful for some things.  I have seen nice
GUIs for bazaar, git, and mercurial.  But they are most useful for
visualizing the repository tree, rather than operations that change the
repository, it seems to me.


Gustavo J. A. M. Carneiro
<gjc inescporto pt> <gustavo users sourceforge net>
"The universe is always one step beyond logic" -- Frank Herbert

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