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Re: Git mirrors

From: Juanma Barranquero
Subject: Re: Git mirrors
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 03:01:24 +0200

On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 01:26, Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden> wrote:

> Why is it necessary to proclaim an official GNU Distributed Version
> Control System (DVCS)? GNU has the technical goal of creating a Free
> Unix-like OS. For that you strategically depend on a kernel, a compiler,
> a linker, a shell... but a DVCS? Is it necessary to proclaim the
> official GNU Solitaire card game?

Are you seriously comparing Solitaire with a VCS? Most software
projects are mainained with the help of a VCS, and if chosing one as
"official", a DVCS seems more sensible than a non-distributed one. If
you can do a meaningful comparison, compare having an "official VCS"
with having an "official building tool", which is surely not
necessay... Oh, wait. There's GNU make.

> (by promoting software that *could* be inferior to other
> options hence increasing the risk of bad image or rejection;

All software could be inferior. Most are, at one point or other of
their lifecycle. CVS was the most techically advanced VCS, once.

> by making
> harder to access or contribute to Free projects hosted by GNU;

I really dislike this argument, because it means that people who wants
to contribute to some free software project will avoid to do so
because it does not use their tool of choice. But, by the same token,
all projects should be written only in the most popular programming
languages (C and Java, likely), and many do, but there are others.
Let's face it, there are about five or so VCS with are mostly relevant
to free software projects (CVS, Subversion, git, Bazaar and
Mercurial), and to contribute you just have to learn a few commands.
If people does not contribute to Emacs because they have to learn less
than ten bzr commands, they weren't likely to contribute in the first

And, by that token, I woudn't tout git, which is IMO the less
user-friendly for a beginner. I'd go so far as to say that using git
would "mak[e] harder to access or contribute to Free projects hosted
by GNU", as compared to bzr (Subversion would still win, as easier to
learn and really well documented, for centralized projects).

> by
> sending the message to other creators of Free Software that GNU is out
> there to aggressively compete with them regardless of merit.)

GNU software is out there to aggressively compete, and win the users,
yes (at least the ones that care about freedom too). "Regardless of
merit" is meaningless, because the users will chose the one which best
fits their needs.

> Have you read Karl Fogel's post on this same thread about how choosing
> bzr for Emacs actually *damaged* bzr?

It's funny that you use Karl's post to support your view, because he says:

> It is *because* I support free software that I wish Emacs would switch
> to Git on Savannah.  Doing so would be better for the cause.
> That's no slur on Bazaar.  It's just that Savannah clearly does not have
> have the resources to support many different version control systems
> well -- and as a result, we're not really helping Bazaar anyway.

which is to say that Savannah is doing a better job of supporting git
than Bazaar... That does not seem entirely compatible with the view
that GNU is rejecting git or favoring Bazaar.

As for Karl's comment, I think that the switch to Bazaar hurt that
project PR-wise, yes, and the state of bzr support on Savannah had a
part on it. But another, huge part, was the fact that bazaar was not,
at the time, ready for a big project with a long history, like Emacs.

But that was then. Currently, wanting to hack Emacs and not wanting to
use Bazaar seems a bit childish IMO. Yes, you'd prefer to use git. I
would prefer for Emacs to be written in Ada. I'll have to adapt. Can


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