[darcs-users] Benchmarking "get"

Max Battcher me at worldmaker.net
Mon Mar 16 20:16:54 UTC 2009

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Of complex merges, which as has been pointed out here recently many,
> perhaps most, Darcs users have learned to avoid.  And most of the
> power of Darcs seems to be in the fact that "patches that touch
> disjoint sets of files always commute".  But git handles such merges
> effortlessly too, and blindingly quickly.

With darcs-2 repos I've yet to see any merges that have given me 
trouble. Certainly I'm not exactly trying to cause bad merges, but I'm 
also not explicitly avoiding them as I might have tried (but to be 
honest, never really made it a habit) to avoid in darcs 1 repos.

At the moment, I've yet to see anyone post a bad example of a darcs-2 
conflict fight. The conflict issues may not yet be finally and truly 
solved, but it is important to repeat that progress has been made (and 
is continuing to happen). A lot of people are still being told to avoid 
darcs because of the conflicts situation and the community does need to 
trumpet the importance of darcs-2 format repositories.  At least darcs-2 
is now the default format.

> But pretending that Darcs workflows are handling problems of the
> complexity of the Linux kernel workflow is not doing git justice,
> either.

I explicitly tied things to my own anecdotal workflows.  It doesn't 
matter to me if it works well at the super-huge repository level if its 
a pain in the ass to use day to day. You might be comfortable scripting 
git's bizarre arcana of spells in emacs. To me it is a magpie's nest of 
undecipherable gibberish. Worse, it is a collection of "brilliant speed 
hacks" that don't quite work in a Windows environment, and are 
ultimately much, much slower in Windows, when not prone to bizarre 
failures. Now the Linux kernel hackers might not see Windows as an 
important development platform, but there's a whole lot of other people 
out there, including myself, doing daily development on Windows boxen.

As a more-often-than-not Windows developer, it seems to me that much of 
git's performance is at best inconsistent (contrary to git fanatics' 
claims of superior performance to every SCS ever in all cases) and at 
worst prone to breaking at an inopportune moment.  The git team 
certainly doesn't seem to care if the linux kernel is the only kernel 
that git will ever truly run correctly on. That's fine for git, but 
every time someone tells me I'm stupidly championing darcs and should 
immediately switch to git I feel like bashing my head against a wall.

Furthermore, the last few benchmarks I've seen seem to be showing a 
trend that Mercurial is besting git in the performance department and hg 
is _strongly_ cross-platform. Best of all, the Mercurial fans I've met 
are mostly humble.

Maybe darcs should team up with Mercurial for an soft spoken, big stick 
anti-git marketing campaign... Perhaps "Use a DVCS that cares for your 

Sorry for a bit of a rant, but git does nothing but frustrate me it 
seems. I don't like working with git and the vocal, abusive love-affair 
its fans have with it doesn't help my outlook of git.

--Max Battcher--

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