Why DVCS won’t kill Subversion in 2010

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At Mike HQ we are currently implementing support for GitHub as this has been requested by a number of our private beta participants. We like Git and are currently undergoing an internal debate/argument as to whether we should switch (no pun intended) to a DVCS from Subversion for our own source code management.

I was going to write something that discussed why, although we might decide to use Git ourselves, it isn’t suitable for everyone – I firmly believe that Subversion usage will continue to thrive in 2010.

However, after searching some, I discovered a comment from this blog entry which more or less summed up my own thoughts. I’m simply going to reproduce it here verbatim (courtesy of clr_lite whoever you are):

  • distributed version control is not for everyone
  • too many people are enamored of a tool or something because it’s new
  • every organization has it’s own situation and needs
  • getting a full repository and allowing people to work in silos without collaboration is not necessarily a good thing
  • git addresses the needs of linux kernel development, with many contibutors funnelling to a gatekeeper
  • some development shops benefit from a locking checkout model which forces developers to communicate and plan
  • subversion has a lot of users and knowledge pool; this can be important for some situations
  • distributed model has it’s plusses; getting all the history, changes, diffs, etc, while offline can be real helpful, but it all depends on the nature of the development and the developers
  • no one tool or process is ‘right’ for everyone

Well put, I thought.

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4 Responses to “Why DVCS won’t kill Subversion in 2010”

  1. Mark Bathie Says:

    Git also lacks inherent fine grained security which is a concern for non open projects. Git is still a great (D)VCS and definitely fills a need for many.

  2. Pradip Shah Says:

    I like the idea of git-svn http://flavio.castelli.name/howto_use_git_with_svn allowing individual programmers to work on git while the corporate can have a central svn repository.

  3. Al Says:

    That couldn’t have been a more watery pointless list.

  4. Erwin Mueller Says:

    Pretty useless list, except the point with the locking.

    * distributed version control is not for everyone

    centralozed version control is not for everyone, too.

    * too many people are enamored of a tool or something because it’s new

    too many people hold to the old tools because they are afraid or too lazy to learn a new tool.

    * every organization has it’s own situation and needs

    and this have what to do with the topic?

    * getting a full repository and allowing people to work in silos without collaboration is not necessarily a good thing

    Git supports collaboration with it’s distributed nature and this is a good thing.

    * git addresses the needs of linux kernel development, with many contibutors funnelling to a gatekeeper

    No, with git you can have different development models, as well as a centralized one.

    * some development shops benefit from a locking checkout model which forces developers to communicate and plan

    Finally a valid point. But if you communicate and plan, why you need a locking mechanism?

    * subversion has a lot of users and knowledge pool; this can be important for some situations

    It’s the same with git. The whole Linux kernel community uses git.

    * distributed model has it’s plusses; getting all the history, changes, diffs, etc, while offline can be real helpful, but it all depends on the nature of the development and the developers

    When are you not like to have the full history, changes, diffs available even offline? Do you like to hide something from your team?

    * no one tool or process is ‘right’ for everyone

    True. But you can use a DVCS as you use subversion, except the locking mechanism.

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