[Haskell] Darcs and Haskell in practical use

Chuan-kai Lin cklin at cs.pdx.edu
Sun Apr 10 12:40:11 EDT 2005

Hi all,

Some of you may have heard about the darcs distributed revision control
system (http://abridgegame.org/darcs/), which is written in Haskell.

Recently Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, had decided to abandon
the BitKeeper revision control system in favor of using an open-source
system to manage his kernel source tree.  Among the contenders are
monotone, GNU Arch, svk, and darcs.

>From reading the postings in the Linux kernel mailing list [1], I think
darcs is pretty well regarded for its capabilities.  After all, complex
symbolic manipulations is one of Haskell's strong points.  Some people
complained that darcs is relatively difficult to build, but that is not
a big problem either.  The real show-stopper turns out to be
performance: the Linux kernel tree is huge, and the intense development
activities put a lot of stress on the revision control system, so the
(slow) execution speed and (large) memory footprint of darcs makes it
unsuitable for such purposes.

Needless to say, having darcs host Linus' kernel tree would be an
excellent exposure for our favorite language.  BitKeeper went from
obscure to well-known in a few years solely because of its use in the
Linux kernel development effort.  Maybe someone in the list would be
interested in helping David Roundy out in tuning darcs?


Chuan-kai Lin

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