[darcs-users] [Haskell-cafe] Why not Darcs?

Jason Dagit dagitj at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 20:44:25 UTC 2011

On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 1:29 PM, Andrew Coppin
<andrewcoppin at btinternet.com>wrote:

> I'm sure this must be a VFAQ, but... There seems to be universal agreement
> that Darcs is a nice idea, but is unsuitable for "real" projects. Even GHC
> keeps talking about getting rid of Darcs. Can anybody tell me what the
> "problems" with Darcs actually are?

It's been documented in the GHC discussions, on reddit, and elsewhere.  I
would encourage you to look at the darcs-users mailing list archives and the
ghc archives.

My personal summary is as follows:
  * There is religion/fan-boy-ism around git and in general vcs is subject
to network effects.
  * Github enables a level of collaboration that is hard to get with darcs.
 Some people say this as: Github is the best thing about git.
  * Performance concerns (for example, darcs annotate needs too much
  * Conflict merging issues (patch theory has flaws that lead to exponential
time merges).

Darcs has some additional flaws that people complain about, but which I
don't think are core to the issue:
  * Conflict markers are hard to understand
  * patches as a set instead of linear history (patch soup complaints)
  * It's written in Haskell
  * It's not popular enough
  * People say they just don't get patch theory

I hope that helps,
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