[development] FAQ: Why is Drupal still using CVS when X is a much better choice?
drupal at dwwright.net
Thu Jul 31 17:46:33 UTC 2008
On Jul 31, 2008, at 9:40 AM, Angela Byron wrote:
> 1. Security. pserver authentication is horribly, horribly insecure.
I think the security problems will be just as bad with SVN given the
OSUOSL infrastructure. There's a way to do CVS securely (over ssh),
which is basically equivalent to what we'd have to do to actually
make SVN secure (as far as I know), but the OSUOSL side of this
question has been "won't fixed" because it would involve giving
(extremely limited) shell access to every CVS account holder:
I'll admit I haven't closely studied SVN's various security models,
so I could be wrong about this, but on the surface, I think this
particular argument is a red herring, since we couldn't configure SVN
any more securely than we can configure CVS. If anyone can provide a
link to a clear document explaining how to configure SVN more
securely than pserver if you don't actually have accounts and ssh
keys for everyone, please do so.
> 2. The ability to rename and move files, retaining version history,
> without having to post a support request to the repository
Yeah, this is a minor pain in the ass (my ass, to be precise, since I
don't think anyone else has ever fielded one of the cvs_rename
issues). But, I've been documenting the process in various issues
and hopefully others could pick up some of this (relatively small, in
the scheme of things) support load.
> 3. The ability to remove directories without having to post a
> support request to the repository maintainers.
The people who botch this aren't the ones who notice and fix it,
anyway. Usually killes or I find the cruft strewn about various
places in the contributions repo directory tree that don't belong and
we clean it up. Sometimes someone else points it out first, but even
if we had a different VCS, cleaning up stuff like this would take the
intervention of a repository admin (because of access control
reasons, if nothing else).
> 4. Much, much more intuitive commands.
This doesn't matter if people already know the CVS commands. If they
don't, we've got handouts, handbooks, screencasts, DrupalCon talks,
off-site writeups, and more, explaining what they need to know...
And, as Earl pointed out, the most important commands for tagging and
branching are arguably much less intuitive, and those are the ones
people seem to have the most trouble with.
5. answered in another message...
> 6. I don't know a lot about SVK, but if SVK can be combined with
> SVN to provide the advantages of DRCS for advanced users, without
> reducing our pool of contributors to like 5%, then cool. ;)
Agreed. This is about the only feature I'd actually be psyched
about. And, making the ~10% of developers that would be psyched
about this happy doesn't outweigh the huge costs (and the "terrifies
the living Hell out of me" problem of SVN's notion of tags) of a switch.
> 7. The SVN community is completely awesome and helpful.
Hey, what are you trying to say? You think I'm neither awesome nor
Not to butt heads with the contributor of the year, but I don't think
any of these reasons are actually "compelling". ;)
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