Version control systems

Ian Lynagh igloo at
Sat Aug 9 12:08:01 EDT 2008

On Sat, Aug 09, 2008 at 03:46:50PM +1000, Manuel M T Chakravarty wrote:
> Don was excited about getting more people to look at the source  
> when it is in git (see the comments he posted from reddit).

I am skeptical that this initial excitement and cloning will translate
into more developers. Also, for someone who's never used either VCS, I
think the overhead of learning to use darcs is far lower than of
learning to use git.

The move to git is more likely to help by not driving away people who
have had problems working with GHC in darcs, than by attracting
developers in the first place. New GHC developers come from GHC users,
not darcs/git users.

> I am not talking about all libs, I am talking about the core libs.   
> Most developers of the core libs are also GHC developers.

I'm not sure that's true. e.g. Malcolm and Ross both commit to the
bootlibs, and we get a lot of patches from various people in the

> I *strongly* object to moving to git before this isn't sorted out.

FWIW, personally I would prefer staying with darcs. I prefer its
underlying philosophy, and I find its UI far more intuitive and easy to

I don't suffer from its problems, though - but then, I don't maintain a
long-running HEAD branch, and I mostly don't use it on Windows.

However, there certainly are a number of people who are having problems
working with darcs (although in some cases this may be because they are
working in a way incompatible with darcs, e.g. one person had replaced
libraries/ with a symlink, for reasons he didn't explain).

Given darcs certainly has some problems, and I seem to be in a minority,
I don't feel I can stand in the way of a move. But I think we need a
wider discussion before we can think about moving the bootlibs to git.

If we are going to have a changeover, then the most convenient time in
GHC's development cycle to make it is in 4 or 5 weeks time.


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