Git vs SVN (was: Can we improve things?)


On 9/7/07, Olav Vitters <olav bkor dhs org> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 07, 2007 at 11:57:19AM +0300, Zeeshan Ali wrote:
> >    About the svn access, all centralized VCS's are meant for
> > dictatorships. If the gnome foundation really wants to improve the
> > situation, i recommend moving to git or some other non-distributed VCS
> > instead of brain-dead centralized svn for the following reason:
> This will take 12x longer than fixing the problem. We'll end up with a
> workaround (as someone still finally has to commit).

   How come? The developer with write-access to the main repo (who is
acting as the proxy) would get the commits pushed to his repo from the
other developer and he would just push them upstream along with his
commits. As me and Kalle tried to point out, with git you have a lot
of freedom to do things in many different ways, which isn't true about

> Finally, people can
> already use a D-SCM together with SVN (git/bzr/.. support SVN). So if
> D-SCM would solve things, there wouldn't be an issue currently.

  As I mentioned in one of my previous emails, the problem would have
been far too small to make a big fuss about it if either A. it was a
matter of a git repo instead of an SVN repo or B. the proxy developer
and the developer needing write access, had decided to use git
together with git-svn at their end.

> > 1. Developers can clone the main repo and the maintainers (people with
> > write-access) can just pull from their cloned repos. This way a
> > developer won't really need write access and he'll just keep on
> > committing his changes to his repo and inform the maintainer(s) about
> > his newest cool changes and the maintainer(s) can pull those changes
> > if they like/need them.
> I call that a workaround. The problem is the access to the main repos.
> If the maintainer doesn't pull from every developer you end up with the
> same problem. At one point someone needs to do something (give access to
> something / pull).

   The developer doesn't necessarily need to 'pull'. What you are
addressing is just one of the many ways things can operate when Git is
being used. Please read above. I mentioned at least two different
modes of operation which are not mutually exclusive.

> > 2. #1 is a generic advantage of using a non-distributed VCS but the
> > reason i would go for git is speed: it's amazingly super fast in all
> > it's operations and will save a lot of precious developer time.
> You are ignoring the drawbacks and that it won't solve this issue.

   For example?

> I am all for D-SCM, but it is not a hammer.

  That might be but they are much better than centralized SCMs, at
least git is quite obviously superior to SVN.

> > 3. No need to maintain two levels of changelog.
> That is not true. The ChangeLog requirement has been discussed before.
> Suggest to read the archives for that discussion (here / d-d-l).

   I searched the archive and topics of the mails i found, didn't seem
relevant so it would be nice if you either provide me a link to the
thread or summarize the conclusion. We are using SVN so ChangeLog
requirement obviously makes sense but I can't imagine it making any
sense at all in D-SCMs especially git since i can always get the
changelog using `git log`.

> > For details on why a good and
> > self-respecting developer wouldn't ever consider using svn over git,
> > you have to watch this presentation by Linus:
> > .
> Last time I watched this it only talked about the benefits of a
> distributed SCM vs non-distributed SCM. Further, the style of presenting
> is very flame-ish. It only serves as advocacy to perhaps try some other
> D-SCM.

  You need to look at it a bit objectively. Linus says "you are stupid
and ugly" because you truly are stupid if you prefer to use SVN or any
centralized SCM and he clearly points out most of the reason why this
it the honest truth.

> Btw, generalising my arguments against git to 'sucky UI' is
> a misrepresentation.

   I won't commit that mistake but i didn't really see any other
convincing argument either. :)


Zeeshan Ali
FSF member#5124

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