Mercurial


I have been wanting to start work on some open source projects for ages. It takes time to get momentum up and take the plunge. I have worked as a software engineer for ages, and the hardest part has always been setting up everything, and then getting it all working. On your own though one can get bewildered by all the options, and just trying to work out in which order to do things can lead you to get swayed by the Google Reader.

At the centre of software development is the version control system, VCS. In days or yore these were fearsome beasts which consumed much cash, and pulled out hair. Subversion has been the standard for ages, an improvement on SourceSafe.  Things though could be better. Git got a lot of the praise, kicked off by Linus gave it that start. Time passed, and as ever I followed the web for an insight as to which is better, and why. I was quite bowled over by the analysis of Git Vs Mercurial analysis by Google, and I am now sold on Mercurial.

People it seems always treated branching of code with abject fear, horror stories of branching in SubVersion are enough to make one shudder in fear. Mercurial though saves one from that. It isn’t branching so much as merging that is the problem, and Mercurial is helpful in recording each of the changes are in a more granular fashion.

The thing is now there are open source projects hosted under Subversion, Git, and Mecurial. There are extensions to make them interoperable, but it doesn’t seem an ideal solution. There was one true ring in Lord of the Rings, do I really have to run Subversion, Git, as well as Mercurial?

On the other hand I use Visual Studio 2008 C# Express IDE most of the time. I have toyed with using VI for coding in Mono, and Python, fine for simple code, but I’ll get lost if things get too big. What I like about VI is its responsiveness, I typed and text appeared. Lagging text makes me think I have a virus chomping away at my data. The express version of Visual Studio is good, although one can’t integrate into Mercurial, otherwise who would bother buying it?

Although there is MonoDevelop, which being open source mean VCS integration is not a problem, and maybe I aim look at that, but I am swaying away from the industry standard; I tremble at the thought of Emacs.

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~ by zeristor on March 2, 2010.

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