moving to git (was: moving to subversion)

Tobias Gruetzmacher tobias at
Mon Sep 4 23:05:20 CEST 2006


On Mon, Sep 04, 2006 at 01:59:06PM +0200, Stefan Sperling wrote:
> I like subversion much better than cvs.  The concept of copying
> directories to create branches is very interesting, albeit a bit
> confusing at first if you come from cvs and expect "virtually no
> learning curve" (I've tried to run svn tag, of course :)

One the one hand that is cool. On the other hand: It makes cross-branch
operations rather cumbersome. And since you don't have tags embedded in
your history, you need very clever tools to extract this information
from a repository (Remember: The top-level directory names tags, branches
and trunk are just a suggestion, a tool must be prepared if I call them
releases, splits and current or something like that...).

And one really important feature that is still missing is
merge-tracking. A merge looks like every other commit. So repeatedly
merging between two branches gets very ugly...

> But in my opinion git is more interesting for us, because:
> 	* It is supposed to be extremely efficient with large trees.
> 	  And our tree is very very very large.
> 	  I don't know how it compares to svn in terms of speed.
> 	  I could not find any numbers on google yet.

I don't think SVN is very good with large trees. If you want some
figures, I could benchmark against the fli4l tree, which is pretty large
(but not as large as the Linux tree) and contains many small files and
binaries. The KDE people recently switched to SVN, maybe they know how
big trees perform? ;)

fli4l SVN:

local checkout: 61,54s user 12,95s system 40% cpu 3:04,54 total
(and our development system is not really slow, Dual Xeon 2.8, Hardware
423MB checkout out tree, 201MB without the .svn directories, repository
size is about 796MB. Current checkout contains 2031 directories with
5616 files.

> 	* It is designed to be as simple as possible, which appeals
> 	  a lot to me. Git is accessible, because you can easily
> 	  understand what it is doing. Subversion with its support
> 	  for multiple database backends etc. looks more complicated.

I also don't like that you have to use Apache2 and mod_dav_svn to
publish your tree, I like systems where a simple web server (any
web server) is enough. But since SVN is a centralized, this is only of
concern for the one central developer who sets up the project

Greetings Tobi

GPG-Key 0xE2BEA341 - signed/encrypted mail preferred
My, oh so small, homepage: - ISDN- & DSL-Router on one disk!
Registered FLI4L-User #00000003
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