Your Version Control System Is Making Me Sad

Mon 18 July 2011

I accidentally started a flame war in the Lynx mailing list by mentioning that it would be nice to have a public source code repository (I mentioned using Git). Some highly-opinionated characters on the list started howling that Git is terrible, version control system n is absolutely the best there is, etc. As fun as that bike-shed painting is, almost everyone missed the point of the original post - I just wanted easier access to the development source code.

The current version control system for Lynx is a mix of RCS and PRCS. The bummer about both of these VCS’s is that there is no built-in export functionality. This makes it incredibly hard to transfer to a different VCS like CVS or Git. It makes us reliant on (often ugly) third-party export tools, when the functionality is a natural fit within the VCS itself. If these and other VCS’s made exporting incremental changes an internal matter, we would only need minimal glue code to switch from one VCS to another.

So until all the VCS’s treat exporting (and importing!) as a necessary feature, I’m going to be a sad panda :-(