[Cabal] beta6 ready to go

Ethan Blanton elb at psg.com
Fri Jan 19 09:49:03 EST 2007

Mark Doliner spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On Fri, 19 Jan 2007 00:02:38 -0500, Ethan Blanton wrote
> > What seems like trouble?  I've been soliciting comments for months 
> > now ... if there are sticking points, let's get them un-stuck.  As 
> > of a few minutes from now, we will be go for the branch im.pidgin.pidgin
> > (shame on all of you for not giving me name suggestions, either).
> > I'll send an email.
> * You seem to have spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to import our
> revision history from Subversion

This is a one-time cost, which is (nearly[1]) over.  Virtually *all*
of the problems were caused by severe limitations or fundamental
design flaws in svn, to boot -- a strong argument for getting *away*
from it.

> * Having to learn a new version control system

This is a valid point that I cannot address.  If you are truly happy
with svn, switching to a new system is an effort which basically
cannot be mitigated.

> * Having revision numbers that are more difficult to use in everyday
>   conversation

This is somewhat unfortunate.  However, it isn't as bad as it looks at
first blush.  There are a number of ways to communicate monotone
revisions without using 20-character hex strings:

 * Shorter hex strings: monotone will expand unique prefixes to the
   full revision.  In most cases, you can use, say, '2d62a' instead of
 * Selectors; revisions can be named by a rich set of selectors over
   certs on the revision and other properties; for example,
   h:im.pidgin.pidgin is the head revision of im.pidgin.pidgin.
   A more complicated selector, a:elb at pidgin.im/d:2007-01, matches all
   revisions committed by me in January of 2007.  See
   http://venge.net/monotone/docs/Selectors.html for more information.

> * Having to maintain two revision control systems (mtn and svn)

We shouldn't have to do this.  There are just a few more branches and
things to be moved over to monotone, after which we can tar the svn
history up someplace and consult it only if someone things they have
found a problem.

> * Long initial checkout time

This is a real problem for which I do not have an answer.  It is being
worked on by the monotone folks.

> * I don't like the web interface as much as ViewVC

That is trac, not monotone.  Svn on trac will look substantially
similar to mtn on trac.  There is a viewmtn, which may or may not be
closer to something you like.  We can install it on pidgin.im and give
it a spin.

> * I have a feeling "meld ./" won't let me browse through my local repository
> and view changes the way I can with Subversion

This is quite possible, I don't know.  If meld knows something
specific about svn, it may have capabilities there which it doesn't
have with mtn.  If this is something important and useful (I don't
know, I've never used meld in any such way), we can look into getting
some equivalent functionality supported in monotone.  If meld uses the
pristine copy in .svn, it will be a bit more work -- but obviously,
all the information is still there.

In short, I think we can address at least some of these issues, either
immediately or in the near future.  Some are more difficult (or
impossible) to address.  In the meantime, the more we know about
sticking points, the easier it will be to fix them; please let me know
what problems you encounter.


[1] Some tags are yet to be imported.  The *hard* part is over.

The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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