[ECOS] DVCS choice

Alex Schuilenburg alexs@ecoscentric.com
Mon Oct 12 21:25:00 GMT 2009

Øyvind Harboe wrote:
> Switching to DVCS is the hard bit.
> Whether to choose git or hg (I don't think there
> are others in the running still) is only hard because
> they are so similar.
> If the "wrong" DVCS is chosen for eCos today, then
> presumably switching will be much easier than the
> switch from CVS to DVCS.
I don't believe either is the "wrong" choice.  Choosing between the two
is like choosing a car IMHO.  Either choice will get you from A to B.

> Here is a relatively famous web site:
> http://whygitisbetterthanx.com/
Odd that this is the first I have seen it then ;-). 

However, I disagree with a lot of the reasons and comparisons given, and
a couple of them are just plain wrong. I have used git and hg, rather
than just read about them. For example, local branching is cheap in both
bzr and hg as well. So when I see the first item in the list just a
plain wrong, I tend to discount the rest as FUD.  There are plenty of
objective and technical evaluations with measurements out there.  Some
say git, some say hg.  Very few I have seen say bzr.  That website adds
nothing to the discussion other than stating the personal preference of
a Linux/Linus fan.

IMHO it just comes down to if you want a reliable family sedan which the
kids can enjoy and just goes when you turn the key, or something a bit
more sportier which could end up in a ditch and needs a bit of
maintenance now and again.  For example I find it interesting that git
needs TLC occasionally to help keep the size of its repos down and keep
the speed of its operations fast.  hg just works and needs no maintenance.

> I prefer git because I have to learn it anyway(Linux work)
> and because I believe it has brighter future than hg.
Why?  Because this is the choice of Linux fans because Linus wrote it,
or is there some substance to your belief?

I don't believe there ever will be a clear winner and IMHO anyone who
suggests otherwise has not used the other in earnest.  Even Linus admits
hg is OK (but he prefers git because he wrote it).

Sure, git has a bigger fan base in open source because of its
association with Linux and Linus and the number of kernel developers
that use it regularly, but that does not make it right nor give any
guarantees.  It is like saying Linux sucks because there are more
Windows users out there. However most Linux kernel developers tend to be
CLI based power geeks, like most of the eCos maintainers. IMHO a
solution that potentially addresses a wider audience, yet still gives
the CLI geeks what they need, is the better one.

hg and git started at roughly the same time, but hg has more and better
GUI support and integration, and its documentation is a lot more
structured and easier to read than git.  Sure, git can catch up, just as
hg can with octopus merges etc (or whatever else tickles your fancy).

> Learning git PLUS hg is a steeper learning curve...
Is http://mercurial.selenic.com/wiki/CvsInfo that hard to comprehend if
you come from a CVS world?

It only becomes harder if you are a power-freak and want to do octopus
merges and other operations that 99.9% of the remaining users will never

-- Alex Schuilenburg

Managing Director/CEO                                eCosCentric Limited

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