DVCS talks at GUADEC

Yesterday, a BoF was scheduled for discussion of distributed version control systems with GNOME.  The BoF session did not end up really discussing the issues of what GNOME needs out of a revision control system, and some of the examples Federico used were a bit snarky.

We had a more productive meeting in the session afterwards where we went over some of the concrete goals for the system.  The list from the blackboard was:

  • Contributor collaboration (i.e. let anyone use the tool rather than just core developers).
  • Distro ⇔ distro and distro ⇔ upstream collaboration.
  • Host GNOME source code repositories
  • Code review
  • Server side hooks
  • Translators: what to do?
  • Enforced checks
  • Offline operations
  • Documentation authors?
  • Support Win32/Mac (important for GTK)

The sys admin tasks were broken down to:

  • MAINTAINERS file syntax checking
  • PO file syntax checking
  • CIA integration.
  • Commits mailing list
  • Check that commit messages are not empty
  • Trigger updates from commits (e.g. the web site module).
  • Release notes tarballs
  • Damned Lies support

It was clear from the discussion that neither Git or Bazaar satisfied all of the criteria.

The Playground

John Carr did a great job setting up Bazaar mirrors of all the GNOME modules.  This provided an easy way for people to see play around with Bazaar.  However, it only gave you half the experience since it didn’t provide a way to publish code and collaborate.

To aid in this, we have set up the bzr-playground.gnome.org machine, which any GNOME developer should be able to use to publish branches based on John’s imports.  Instructions on getting set up can be found on the wiki.  I hope that we will get a lot of people trying out this infrastructure.

We gave a presentation today on some of the things Bazaar provides that could be useful when hacking on GNOME.  Demoing bzr-playground was a bit problematic due to the internet connection problems at the venue, but I think we still showed some useful tools for local collaboration, searching and code review.

Meanwhile, Robert Collins has been working on some of the GNOME sysadmin features that Bazaar was lacking.  Among other things, he got Damned Lies working with both Subversion and Bazaar, with a test installation on the playground machine.

3 Comments

  1. Posted 9 July, 2008 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Do we honestly think that at this point there’s a killer feature/showstopper bug that’s going to decide which DVCS GNOME goes with? The debate has detoriated to an emacs vs vi type discussion where all that’s left is personal preference and mudslining (typically based on the state of the tools 3 years ago). There’s nothing that any of these tools can’t do that any of the other tools can’t do (possibly with a little effort).

    It’s time to admit that the choice is going to be based on fiat or vote and then just make a decision instead of endless BOFs, test migrations, workshops, feature matrices, work flow analysis.

    Thank you. I like git, btw ;)

  2. Vadim P.
    Posted 9 July, 2008 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Great, I’d be interested to read what comes out of ‘Support Win32′. I’ve started to use GTK for Windows for cross-platform, and while it’s dead easy to setup and use, it would be nice if there were official standards on this.

  3. Rob
    Posted 9 July, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to publish bzr branches for experimental modules that are not yet in gnome svn? That’d be great …