Moving to Hg without any analysis at all

Ethan Blanton elb at
Mon Feb 7 19:51:52 EST 2011

I am breaking my policy of not replying to you, and feeding the troll.
It is a one-time thing.

Felipe Contreras spake unto us the following wisdom:
> Last time when I criticized the move to monotone, Luke mentioned this:
> > We spent considerable time and effort evaluating our options when we made
> > this switch. I am a little tired of the idea that we made it relatively
> > arbitrarily.
> This time there was no analysis at all, there's no list of pros and
> cons, and no list of reasons why the move to hg is desirable.
> For posterity, the only reason you have picked hg over the
> alternatives, is because more people voted for it. People didn't even
> had to list a reason for their vote, or even cast it publicly.

For posterity ... you're wrong.  We *did* discuss pros and cons, at
length.  We discussed the impact on migration, the loss of information
in moving from monotone to hg or git, developers' experiences with hg,
git, and other DVCSes which did not make the final cut.  We looked at
repository sizes and talked about speed.  We discussed the differences
in branches, tags, naming, etc. in the various systems.  We talked
about bug tracker integration, both with trac and moving trackers.  We
even talked about how hilariously wrong your explanations of non-git
VCSes are, and how they've not improved since the times when you
didn't understand monotone.

These discussions took place on mailing lists, on IRC, in the XMPP
MUC, in public, in private, and all over the place.  You simply
weren't present, which was your own choice.  Your arguments were
heard, and weighed, despite the fact that you interjected them
one-sided, misinformed, and late in the process.

> Hopefully you would agree that this time the decision is arbitrary,
> and you didn't give a chance at all to the alternatives. Given the
> fact that you have to use monotone right now I can see why you would
> want to move with haste, but I still think you should _at least_
> provide a list of reasons to your community, not just "Because we say
> so".

We do not.  We also are not moving with haste -- we've been discussing
this move since before you ever even saw monotone.  We have simply
decided that the time for a changeover has come, and there is a
developer with the energy to do the heavy lifting.

Many Pidgin developers have used hg extensively at work, on other open
source projects, and on their own time.  We (I am included in that
group) have considered it very successful at actually *getting things
done*.  It is fast, it is accurate, it branches and merges cleanly, it
runs everywhere, and it is comfortable to use.  Those are the reasons
we are choosing it.

This is not an eternal condemnation of git.  Some of us like it very
much.  We simply aren't choosing to use it for day-to-day Pidgin
development.  On top of that, most of the work done to perform an hg
conversion is required for a git conversion, anyway, due to the fact
that git and hg have very similar metadata deficiencies in comparison
to mtn -- a conversion from hg to git would be easier than a
conversion from mtn to git.


P.S.  I see your comments regarding Signed-Off-By:, and using that
      convention is a good suggestion.  It's at least a standard way
      to work around that particular metadata deficiency.
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