[development] SVN vs. CVS? (was re: CVS branch work best practices?)

Corey Bordelon corey.bordelon at gmail.com
Mon Feb 26 16:32:53 UTC 2007

I flinched when I saw the subject line of the email, but alas, I'm going to
contribute to the "you should look at ..." noise, which is what this thread
may turn into.

You should look at Mercurial[1].  It supports the same model of development
as git (distributed revision control).  It has an extension for patch
queues[2].  It is used by several projects[3] like OpenSolaris, and some of
Red Hat's bleeding edge tools.

If you indeed plan on moving to another system, check out the audit of
Version Control Systems[4] the Fedora Project.   They looked at CVS, SVN,
Mercurial, Bazaar-NG, and Git.  I don't know what conclusion they came to,
but the information listed may be useful to someone trying to do
evaluations.  The information is a bit out of date.  For instance, there is
an eclipse plugin for Mercurial[5].

As you can probably tell, I do have a vested interest.  I just setup a few
repositories with Drupal Core, and a few modules to ease site updates for
me.  I did not do a full history import, just a CVS checkout, and "hg init"
it has a Mercurial repository.  Message me off-list if you want to see them.

   1. http://www.selenic.com/mercurial/
   2. http://www.selenic.com/mercurial/wiki/index.cgi/MqExtension
   4. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure/VersionControl/
   5. http://www.vectrace.com/mercurialeclipse/

-- Corey Bordelon

On 2/26/07, Victor Kane <victorkane at gmail.com> wrote:
> Although I regularly use SVN, in terms of making an actual change sometime
> in the future with Drupal releases, we should study git and its wrapper
> cogito.
> For developer version control (individual commits nothing to do with
> central repository), for committing to a central repository, for creating
> and applying patches, these new tools originally written not so long ago by
> Linus Torvald, and becoming more and more popular in the last eighteen
> months or so, are indeed worthy of attention.
> git: http://git.or.cz/
> cogito: http://git.or.cz/cogito/
> patchy git: http://www.spearce.org/category/projects/scm/pg/
> explanation: http://www.spearce.org/2006/02/pg-version-0111-released.html
> There are already excellent gui's too.
> Victor Kane
> http://awebfactory.com.ar
> On 2/26/07, Derek Wright <drupal at dwwright.net > wrote:
> >
> > Rob Thorne wrote:
> > > So if we are going to start using branches more, and encouraging
> > > more developers to play with tags and branch tags, it might be
> > > worth studying whether or when to migrate to a more modern system.
> >
> > i'll be the first to admit that CVS can be daunting to the
> > untrained.  however, the entire thread about best practices for
> > branching has nothing to do with CVS's failings regarding branches,
> > tags, and merging.  when to branch, if/when/what to merge (and if
> > not, what branch(es) to apply patches to) are generic questions that
> > would face Drupal developers, no matter what revision control system
> > we used.
> >
> > as far as i know, the *only* viable alternative to CVS that might be
> > considered for drupal development is SVN.  sadly, in spite of the
> > other ways SVN improved things that CVS sucks at (basically, renaming
> > files), SVN still fails to make merging branches easy.  sure, the
> > syntax of the command changed from:
> >
> > "cvs update -j [revision_1] -j [revision_2]"
> >
> > to:
> >
> > "svn merge -r [revision_1] -r [revision_2]"
> >
> > but otherwise, all the same suckiness is there in both cases [1].
> > getting into the details of this is OT -- my real point is that SVN
> > is no paradise for revision control, especially regarding branches.
> > sure, the "svn tag" operation is orders of magnitude *faster* than
> > "cvs tag" in many cases, but it's no *simpler* to understand or get
> > right.  and no one is complaining about wasted time while "cvs tag"
> > runs, they're complaining (with some justification) about wasted time
> > thinking about the revision control problems (when/why to branch/tag,
> > where to apply patches, when to make releases, etc), instead of their
> > Drupal code problems.
> >
> > bottom line: nearly all of the confusion is being caused because of
> > misunderstanding revision control concepts (and the incredibly
> > complicated world Drupal has created for itself, see my other post),
> > not the syntax or functionality of a specific revision control tool [2].
> >
> > that said, i'm not fanatically opposed to moving Drupal development
> > to a different revision control system, but it's going to take a
> > *LOT* of work, and (in a year of *many* people trying) i've yet to
> > hear an argument that holds any water about ways SVN would
> > significantly improve our development practices to offset the very
> > high cost of switching.  that said, if someone(s) wants to pay me
> > enough to do all the work (and i won't make the same mistake of
> > wildly under-guessing how many hours this would actually take from
> > start to finish as i did with the release system) i'd be more than
> > happy to do the clean separation/abstraction required so we could use
> > SVN instead of CVS.  if you're serious (and have a big budget), talk
> > to me off list.
> >
> > thanks,
> > -derek
> >
> > [1] http://www.dellroad.org/svnmerge/index has promise to solve some
> > of these problems, and is now included in the SVN source, but it's
> > still basically "contrib" as far as i can tell. :(
> >
> > [2] to address Rob's other comment:
> >
> > > First is the notorious "forgot -kb on cvs add" problem.
> >
> > this is a non-issue in a repository with a properly configured
> > CVSROOT/cvswrappers file, which thankfully, the Drupal contrib repo
> > has been for at least a few months now. ;)
> >
> >
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