[poppler] Switching source control tools.

Jeff Muizelaar jeff at infidigm.net
Thu Apr 26 14:02:22 PDT 2007

On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 12:58:41PM -0700, Krzysztof Kowalczyk wrote:
> On 4/26/07, Jeff Muizelaar <jeff at infidigm.net> wrote:
> >So what do people, especially Albert, think? Now that 302 is merged
> >(thanks Albert) we have time to do less constructive things like argue
> >about which SCM to use :)
> I understand that as a non-contributor my opinion doesn't count as much 
> but...
> As someone who uses Windows as a main devel OS, I think you're
> underplaying the barrier to entry that git adds for windows developers
> (on top of existing barriers to entry).

Maybe. I'm probably not the best example, but I've used both cvs
(Tortoise and Cygwin) and git on windows and I much prefer git.

> Yes, there are work-arounds (install cygwin or even use VMWare and
> share directories between host windows and guest vmware'd linux) and I
> did those. There are (significant in my opinion problems with that).

I'm curious what the problem were with using cygwin. I can't say I've
had any signficant problems using cygwin.

> It's significantly more time consuming that downloading and installing
> native Subversion client. It doesn't integrate well with native tools
> (e.g. if I code in Visual Studio, with SVN I could do all svn
> interaction without leaving IDE, with git I would have to switch to
> cygwin shell - not a big problem but very annoying).

I could list annoyances with using SVN or CVS vs. git too:
- performance (this one is huge)
- lack of something like StGit
- lack of something like 'git log [directory]'
- lack of a decent web interface on freedesktop

> And finally, I put myself in the "experienced Unix user" category but
> I don't believe that's the case with most Windows developers so don't
> really expect that most people will be thrilled by the prospect of
> learning Unix just so that they can get by in cygwin well enough to
> use git.

Wouldn't they have to learn Unix well enough to build Poppler as
well? Once they've gotten that far, using git isn't much harder.

> So on the source control front, I don't see a compelling reason for
> switching from cvs but if the switch happens, I would much prefer svn
> over git.

Just the concept of having atomic changes to the source tree is as
compelling reason as I think we need. Personally, I don't see a
compelling reason to keep using cvs.

> In general, I think that open-source projects that want their code to
> be well supported on Windows should ask "how can we make it easy for
> windows developers to contribute" as opposed to "if we do this, will
> it be bad enough for them to not contribute".

This of course needs to be weighed against the cost that this has on
unix developers.

> Using windows-friendly scm is one thing. Providing native build
> environment (i.e. Visual Studio project files) would be another. In my
> experience a majority of unix-originated project don't put any effort
> (or even actively work against) attracting Windows developers and
> that, in my opinion, is the reason why they don't get any patches from
> them.

CVS wasn't a very windows-friendly scm when it was 2 years old either.
It only became friendly because enough windows users needed to use CVS.
Plus, there is work being done to make git easier to use on windows like
the eclipse plugin and the SoC mono port.

> Cairo isn't a good example either. It's a very active project but it
> actually is often broken on windows and, relatively to overall
> activity, gets very little contributions from windows crows (I believe
> most of developement was done by Mozilla folks, that don't have a
> choice but to make it work on windows well enough for mozilla).

But I don't think that the lack of contributions from windows people is
because cairo uses git. I could be wrong, but I don't think the number
of windows contributions has gone down significantly from when cairo
used CVS. My point here was just that the cairo people do actually care
about the windows folk. Whereas, afaik, Poppler doesn't even try to be
buildable on windows.


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