[darcs-users] hcar draft 2011-05

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Thu Apr 28 23:10:44 UTC 2011

Comments?  The deadline is 1 May, but I asked for a one week
extension.  With any luck I won't have to use it :-)


\report{Eric Kow}%05/10
\participants{darcs-users list}
\status{active development}

Darcs is a distributed revision control system written in Haskell. In
Darcs, every copy of your source code is a full repository, which allows for
full operation in a disconnected environment, and also allows anyone with
read access to a Darcs repository to easily create their own branch and
modify it with the full power of Darcs' revision control. Darcs is based on
an underlying theory of patches, which allows for safe reordering and
merging of patches even in complex scenarios. For all its power, Darcs
remains a very easy to use tool for every day use because it follows the
principle of keeping simple things simple.

Our most recent major release, Darcs 2.5, was in November 2010.  It
provides faster repository-local operations, faster record with long
patch histories, among other bug fixes and features.

We are now looking forward to the release of Darcs 2.8 this summer,
including Alexey Levan's 2010 Google Summer of Code work on optimised
darcs get (via the ``optimize --http'' command) and a few refinements
to Adolfo Builes' cache reliability work.  The Darcs 2.8 release is
planned to feature a faster and more human-readable annotate command
and potentially an experimental rebase feature.

In addition to the upcoming release, we are excited to be participating
in Google Summer of Code 2011.  We have two projects this year, one to
develop a a bidirectional bridge between Darcs and Git, and the other
to some new exploratory work on primitive patch types for a future Darcs
3.  The bridge project will help Darcs maintainers to collaborate with
Git users, and Darcs users to participate in Git hosted projects using
Darcs as a client.  The primitive patches work will allow us to
implement some ideas we have been discussing in the Darcs team in recent
ideas, in particular separation of file identifiers from file names and
the separation of on-disk patch contents from their in-memory
representation.  Making a prototype implementation of these ideas will
give us a better idea how feasible they are in practice (are there any
technical difficulties lurking around the corner?), and how much they
will improve Darcs' scalability and usability in the long term.

The two projects are very exciting, and they represent a potential trend
in Darcs away from catching up with day-to-day issues and towards a more
long-term perspective.  Meanwhile, we still have a lot progress to make
and are always open to contributions.  Haskell hackers, we need your

Darcs is free software licensed under the GNU GPL.  Darcs is a proud
member of the Software Freedom Conservancy, a US tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
organization.  We accept donations at


Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
For a faster response, try +44 (0)1273 64 2905 or
xmpp:kowey at jabber.fr (Jabber or Google Talk only)
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