[ECOS] What's the process on switching version control system for eCos?

Bart Veer bartv@ecoscentric.com
Tue Sep 22 14:34:00 GMT 2009

>>>>> "Oyvind" == =?UTF-8?Q?=C3=98yvind Harboe?= <oyvind.harboe@zylin.com> writes:

    Oyvind> eCos is run in an open manner.
    Oyvind> Is there someone who's in charge of the process of
    Oyvind> switching to a new distributed version control system?

Not at this time.    
    Oyvind> Are we just throwing stuff around currently?


    Oyvind> I'd like to see a renewed patch process in place as part
    Oyvind> of the new version control system switch.

    Oyvind> I guess the maintainers will have to make a choice on
    Oyvind> behalf of the community, so there won't actually be a vote
    Oyvind> as such. Since eCos is run in an open manner, this major
    Oyvind> change should take the community's input and not be
    Oyvind> presented as a fait accomplis though.

The final decision will be made by the maintainers, although
there will have to be some consultation with the sourceware.org to
make sure that they are happy with the choice. Constructive input from
the community will be welcomed at the appropriate time.

However, at this time there is no formal proposal before the
maintainers, and so far none of the maintainers have volunteered to
work on a switch over. It seems likely that there will be at least
one, possibly more, proposals in the coming weeks or months. I would
expect any such proposal to address at least the following issues:

1) cvs is known to be broken in various ways, and sourceware.org has
run with various revisions of cvs with different bugs over the years.
Hence a full import of the current cvs repository into the proposed
system is likely to be problematical. More precisely, it probably
won't be too hard to get to a state where it is possible to check out
something equivalent to the current cvs trunk; however, replicating
the full history of the repository on all branches will be much more
difficult. So:

  a) how much effort will be contributed to minimize the loss of

  b) how much history can we expect to lose, irrespective of the
     amount of effort put in?

2) sorting out the repository itself is only part of the problem. The
web pages will need updating. There will almost certainly be teething
problems early on, e.g. the system may fail to work for some people
because of firewall issues. Can we expect any assistance with issues
like those?

So, a suggestion that e.g. eCos should switch over to git because it
is already in use on other projects is unlikely to get much attention
from the maintainers. A serious offer to do the hard work will get
much more attention, especially if it is backed up with experimental
data and explanations of why some of the problems with cvs are just
too hard to work around.

To a large extent, in this case the actual choice of which system to
switch to is less important than who will end up doing the work. The
three main distributed version control systems (mercurial, git, and
bazaar) all seem to offer much the same functionality, and all of them
are far superior to cvs. If pressed I would have to admit to a slight
preference for mercurial, partly because it has a reputation for being
easier to use than the others (especially in the context of Windows
users), and partly because it has rather good documentation in the
form of the O'Reilly book "Mercurial: the Definitive Guide".


Bart Veer                                   eCos Configuration Architect
eCosCentric Limited    The eCos experts      http://www.ecoscentric.com/
Barnwell House, Barnwell Drive, Cambridge, UK.      Tel: +44 1223 245571
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