[darcs-users] Re: svk

Mark Stosberg mark at summersault.com
Fri Nov 12 18:36:56 UTC 2004

On 2004-11-12, John Goerzen <jgoerzen at complete.org> wrote:
> Have any of you looked at svk?
> http://svk.elixus.org/
>>From my initial glance, it looks like it's quite similar to darcs, but
> based on the Subversion FS.

I just looked it over a few days ago, including installing. 

On the upside:

 - svk is actively working on implementing darcs command set:

 - svk has a good design idea for cooperating with other SCMS.  In the
   long term, you will able to use svk as a client for various SCMS
   including CVS, Subversion, Arch, etc, with the ability
   to use a consistent command set to update and commit back to each.

   Right now you can mirror from some other archive formats, but not
   commit "through" back upstream.

   They have implemented this by writing an "adapter" for VCP,
   which is a framework for interchanging data between various SCMs:

   Darcs has a start in this direction with the "tailor.py", but I like
   the built-in design of svk better. 

   I would like to see this kind feature added to darcs.

 - You don't have to install all of Subversion to have svk. You
   can even choose to use the "fsfs" "flat file" backend instead
   of the binary Berkeley DB backend, which I perceive to be a
   more dangerous choice.

 - svk has an automated test suite that provides over 88% coverage
   of their code base. This makes it easier to make changes, because
   it's easier to see if you broke anything that worked before. 

 - svk is written in Perl, providing it access to a huge collection
   of existing modules, a large potential developer base.

On the downside:

 - I found the svk docs to be nearly non-existent. The absence was
   prohibitive to my exploring it further. 

 - Ironically, despite the larger potential developer base, svk
   development appears less active than darcs. For example, if you look
   at their developer list volume last month, it was a bout 4
   messages/day, compared with about 20 for darcs.
svk looks like it will be an interesting project follow, but darcs seems
like a better choice right now.  

Thanks my quick hack assessment. 


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