version control and LIP

Simon Marlow simonmar at
Mon Mar 15 10:32:22 EST 2004

The original question was whether to move the LIP repository to CVS or
keep it in an arch repository, or use something else.  This seems to
have lead on to the question of whether the whole of fptools should move
to a new VC system.

My opinion: I hate CVS, but I don't think we should switch at this
stage.   The main problems in CVS that affect us every day are:

  - lack of support for versioning of directories (I'd like to 
    rearrange bits of the tree, but find that the fact that we'd
    lose history means it isn't worth it).

  - lack of atomic multi-file commits.  I often want to know "what
    other files were modified by this commit".   Or to "merge this
    entire changeset into the branch".  Neither of these is well
    supported by CVS, although they are possible to do by hand.

  - lack of "good" support for branches and merging.  If branches
    were easier to use, we'd use them more.  Instead, we end up
    keeping lots of local development outside CVS altogether.
    Distributed repos might help here too.

I looked at Subversion, but I must admit I'm not too keen on keeping the
repository in a monolithic database.  In some sense it might be the
Right Thing, but it certainly limits transparency, and what external
tools you can use on the repo.

Distribution isn't something we really need, but it might be nice.
Fixing the above 3 issues I'd say is more important.

Sven's point about the amount of momentum that CVS has is a good one.
Changing our VC would be a huge upheaval, which is why it isn't going to
happen any time soon.  The ideal alternative isn't yet clear (to me)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: libraries-bounces at 
> [mailto:libraries-bounces at] On Behalf Of Simon Peyton-Jones
> Sent: 15 March 2004 09:17
> To: Isaac Jones; Krasimir Angelov
> Cc: libraries at
> Subject: RE: version control and LIP
> I don't have any opinion about the relative merits of different VC
> systems (except selfish reluctance to learn a new one) but 
> whatever you
> choose *must* work flawlessly on Windows as well as Unix.  Lots of
> people use Haskell on Windows machines.
> With Gour's encouragement I managed to build GHC quite easily using
> MSYS, a lightweight cousin of Cygwin.  When I install the 
> MSYS developer
> toolkit I get CVS and ssh.  I'm certain I don't get arch/darcs etc.
> It's not a big deal to install something else, but the something else
> should be guaranteed available for Windows and (strong preference) not
> require Cygwin.
> Simon
> | -----Original Message-----
> | From: libraries-bounces at
> [mailto:libraries-bounces at] On Behalf Of Isaac Jones
> | Sent: 15 March 2004 02:51
> | To: Krasimir Angelov
> | Cc: libraries at
> | Subject: Re: version control and LIP
> | 
> | Krasimir Angelov <ka2_mail at> writes:
> | 
> | > Does the arch works under Windows?
> | 
> | It seems that there is some support, as you've already discovered.
> | Apparently, cygwin is only one out of 3 options:
> | 
> |
> | 
> | I hope you can solve this problem.  Perhaps this is another reason I
> | should move to darcs?  How's darcs support in windows?
> | 
> | 
> | peace,
> | 
> | isaac
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