[darcs-users] About darcs darcs repo as an darcs usage example...

Petr Rockai me at mornfall.net
Tue Mar 10 09:13:37 UTC 2009


every now and then, someone mentions the size of the darcs darcs repo as the
measure of where darcs scales. I'd like to warn people that before they do
that, they should mention, that darcs darcs repo is anxiously avoiding any of
the more troublesome aspects of darcs. Eg. there are very few conflict
resolutions in darcs darcs repo. We impose a very strict workflow on our
contributors, which very few projects will be willing to adopt (even in darcs
itself, there's a fair amount of dissent). Other workflows will result in many
more conflict resolutions, sometimes in conflict fights and repos of size of
the darcs repo could wind up unusable due to merging slowness and bugs (we
tried to branch darcs repo with anything other than minor changes twice, both
attempts resulting in massive problems with merging and ultimately loss of the
branch due to its un-usability).

We should keep our marketing honest. I wouldn't recommend using darcs to any
medium project (ie. more than a couple hundred patches and a single, at most
two contributors) without a darcs expert on board. At least not until the core
is either rewritten or debugged. To put it simply, while darcs is smart, it's
not reliable, and in an RCS, that's a catastrophe waiting to happen.


PS: This is partly in response to
http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/834pj/why_i_love_darcs/ and in
particular this: "A good estimate of a repository size that darcs handles well
is the darcs darcs repository, which has around 7000 patches over 6 years with
160 contributors." I have no intention of getting a reddit account to post the
response there...

Peter Rockai | me()mornfall!net | prockai()redhat!com
 http://blog.mornfall.net | http://web.mornfall.net

"In My Egotistical Opinion, most people's C programs should be
 indented six feet downward and covered with dirt."
     -- Blair P. Houghton on the subject of C program indentation

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