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Re: [Monotone-devel] is monotone for me?

From: Thomas Keller
Subject: Re: [Monotone-devel] is monotone for me?
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 14:57:25 +0200
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Am 27.06.10 08:12, schrieb Gour:
> However, along with some other users, I was complaining on the mailing
> list about the unfortunate decision of using non-standard wiki which
> makes the whole project not suitable for all-in-one solution (DVCS +
> wiki + distribute tracker + easy hosting), but the author is fixed in
> his decision so we left it.

Have you ever tried ikiwiki? This is a nice and very expandable
(plugins) wiki engine which comes with support for different SCMs,
amongst them monotone. We're using ikiwiki for our own wiki at and version it via the net.venge.monotone.web

> So, we spent some time reading the (very nice) docs (what are you
> using for documenting?). 

Basically texinfo, what Stephen said, with lots of custom hacked CSS
from me to make it pretty :)

> However, I'm considering alternative  to be used for our Haskell
> project...We want robust system which can serve us for many years,
> multi-platform support (that's why we abandoned gtk2hs & wxhaskell and
> decided to use Qt toolkit.) with possibly some GUI tool for Mac/Win
> users/devs not too familiar with cli. (Here darcs is lacking and I've
> to evaluate Guitone.)

Well, I can't exactly say if monotone is the right tool for you - as
others said it works good for medium-size projects, but can be slow for
particular use cases, like very big trees (tens of thousands of files)
and many, many concurrent users. Some of these issues can be
circumvented with intelligent setups (like f.e. distributed nodes and
usher as proxy), some might become blockers.

But we're actually still want you to test it out if it works, because
you have a very good and easy exit strategy with our fast export to git,
which is understood by other SCMs as well.

> From reading the docs it is not (too) difficult to conclude that
> monotone is very nicely designed system with lot of features and
> wonderful security model.

Heh, thanks!

> Some considerations we have:
> a) what do you find as the reason for not wider acceptance of
> monotone? (I know darcs is not too popular as well, but, at least, it
> is used widely within Haskell community.) Is there something which is,
> according to the public criticism lacking in monotone or it is simply
> a fact that "it's too different and not named Xit"?

We discussed that here over and over and basically it was some kind of
generation change, the original developer(s) left the project, probably
also a bit overrun by the tremendous success of git, and a few people
who kept loving this SCM kept around and tried to start anew.
The community is small and the amount of active developers is even
smaller, but thats the classic vicious circle, not many users will not
lead to many patche - still, we fight and continue to fight on all
fronts as time permits.

> b) there are some possibilities for hosting darcs repos, but,
> according to the wiki, there is only one site offering public hosting
> for monotone. Do I miss some?

I guess in the (near) future indefero ( will also
offer monotone hosting. I'm currently just waiting for my patch [0] to
get included in their trunk, which should happen within the next couple
of days.

> c) considering b) it seems practical to think about using one's own
> hosting for the project, I'm curious about memory requirements on the
> server (for medium-sized project)?

I have a monotone server running on a small-sized VPS with only 200MB
fixed RAM and the ability to boost that to 600MB, and I have many other
memory hogs on this system as well (spamassassin f.e.). The server works
quite well and fast - though it only serves a couple of smaller
branches, one of them being guitone.

> d) similar to Fossil, monotone is a bit isolated in its own universe
> due to the lack of interoperability tools.
> Fortunately, I found out about git-export using fast-import mechanism,
> but I wonder if there is any plan for git-import to make it easier to
> convert from {darcs,git,hg} which support by fast-import/export
> mechanism?

It would be cool if somebody could pick up Patrick's work here -
unfortunately the other devs are a bit out of time in respect to this
and I'm not a git expert (which I should probably be to be able to
properly hack on this).

> e) I'll try for myself, but let me ask whether Guitone is capable to
> replace need for cli for less experienced users?

I'm the author of guitone and I'd say the recent versions should be very
well capable of replacing the CLI indeed (after all guitone is targeted
at exactly your envisioned user group). I still plan to implement access
to remote databases (thats currently in a branch, not yet in mainline)
and wait for the release of monotone 1.0 and then the final 1.0 of
guitone should be ready as well.
I'd love to get some earlier feedback from you on guitone though, so I'd
be happy if you try it out before it hits 1.0 :)



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