Discussion:
Fossil, first impressions
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s***@yahoo.com
2010-02-19 00:00:56 UTC
Permalink
I really liked trying out Fossil and it may become my personal vcs - the integrated wiki and ticket system are great and I use RamDebugger once in awhile, too - but I was initially evaluating it for work use, where our Subversion setup is turning into a giant space hog.  I have a (growing) repository that is about 2 gigs checked out, 1 gig exported and the initial import into Fossil rocked because it was only about 250 megs.   

However, we need partial checkout ability and Fossil just recreates the whole exported repo when it is opened, thus defeating one selling point of finding a tool that uses less space. (It would save some server space, just not enough to justify introducing a whole new tool and it would actually force the programmers to use more disk space as near as I can tell - and mine isn't the only repo they use.)  Even though I am the department support admin, I can't break the repo up since we have multiple projects under the trunk, tags, branches default layout and Subversion is administered by the server teams, which limits options there - like implementing SVK to make Subversion usable.  

The other feature I was looking at was the tagging.  The engineers I work for are unhappy with SVN because they are being forced on to it from Clearcase, and they really miss the ability to label individual files (most of you probably know that SVN operates at the folder level - we had hopes that the new change set capability would be an alternative but it wasn't).  I like how Fossil does leaves and branching but again the issue of no lite working copy, or partial checkouts is a deal breaker.  While space is a big concern, keeping users out of some projects is even more important.       

So the search continues.  Bazaar comes close but it's been too unstable on Windows every time I've tried it, git on Windows - well, enough said there, it was pretty painful when I tested it 6 months ago.         

Most of the open source version control systems I have tested say up front that they are built on the initial developers needs.  As nice as Fossil is, I was disappointed that it isn't any different in that respect. But I'll keep an eye on the open Feature Requests (for partial co)  to see if that changes.    

If I've overlooked any obvious workarounds while trying it out, please let me know.   

-- Terry
 
a***@mail.com
2010-02-19 04:30:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Terry,

Fossil has many good features that made me look at, contribute to and
use it as personal VCS.

However, fossil is created and maintained out of personal interest. It
does not intent to become a next-gen DVCS system replacing git or
others. The idea is: If you like it, use it.

- Altu


-----Original Message-----
From: shards23-***@yahoo.com
To: Fossil <fossil-***@lists.fossil-scm.org>
Sent: Fri, Feb 19, 2010 5:30 am
Subject: [fossil-users] Fossil, first impressions


I really liked trying out Fossil and it may become my personal vcs -
the integrated wiki and ticket system are great and I use RamDebugger
once in awhile, too - but I was initially evaluating it for work use,
where our Subversion setup is turning into a giant space hog.  I have a
(growing) repository that is about 2 gigs checked out, 1 gig exported
and the initial import into Fossil rocked because it was only about 250
megs.   

However, we need partial checkout ability and Fossil just recreates the
whole exported repo when it is opened, thus defeating one selling point
of finding a tool that uses less space. (It would save some server
space, just not enough to justify introducing a whole new tool and it
would actually force the programmers to use more disk space as near as
I can tell - and mine isn't the only repo they use.)  Even though I am
the department support admin, I can't break the repo up since we have
multiple projects under the trunk, tags, branches default layout and
Subversion is administered by the server teams, which limits options
there - like implementing SVK to make Subversion usable.  

The other feature I was looking at was the tagging.  The engineers I
work for are unhappy with SVN because they are being forced on to it
from Clearcase, and they really miss the ability to label individual
files (most of you probably know that SVN operates at the folder level
- we had hopes that the new change set capability would be an
alternative but it wasn't).  I like how Fossil does leaves and
branching but again the issue of no lite working copy, or partial
checkouts is a deal breaker.  While space is a big concern, keeping
users out of some projects is even more important.       

So the search continues.  Bazaar comes close but it's been too unstable
on Windows every time I've tried it, git on Windows - well, enough said
there, it was pretty painful when I tested it 6 months ago.         

Most of the open source version control systems I have tested say up
front that they are built on the initial developers needs.  As nice as
Fossil is, I was disappointed that it isn't any different in that
respect. But I'll keep an eye on the open Feature Requests (for partial
co)  to see if that changes.    

If I've overlooked any obvious workarounds while trying it out, please
let me know.   

-- Terry
 


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Joshua Paine
2010-02-19 05:20:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@yahoo.com
the initial import into Fossil rocked because it was only about 250
megs.
How did you manage the import? I have worked very lightly on importing
from svn, but haven't got a full solution yet.
Post by s***@yahoo.com
it would actually force the programmers to use more disk space as near
as I can tell - and mine isn't the only repo they use.
Are you operating under some unusual conditions that your developers'
machines don't have GB to spare? My 500 GB hdd is about 1/4 full, so I
wouldn't really think of a 1 GB checkout as problematically large.

Fossil's behavior seems to be pretty standard for DVCS, no?
Post by s***@yahoo.com
While space is a big concern, keeping users out of some projects is
even more important.
If you can't break up your existing repo into several projects-specific
repos, it's hard for me to think of a fossil solution for this.
Post by s***@yahoo.com
git on Windows - well, enough said there, it was pretty painful when I
tested it 6 months ago.
I've heard good things about this: http://code.google.com/p/msysgit/ --
i.e., that git on Windows is just fine with it.
--
Joshua Paine
LetterBlock: Web applications built with joy
http://letterblock.com/
301-576-1920
Twylite
2010-02-19 12:51:28 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by s***@yahoo.com
However, we need partial checkout ability and Fossil just recreates
the whole exported repo when it is opened, thus defeating one selling
point of finding a tool that uses less space. (It would save some
server space, just not enough to justify introducing a whole new tool
and it would actually force the programmers to use more disk space as
near as I can tell - and mine isn't the only repo they use.) Even
though I am the department support admin, I can't break the repo up
since we have multiple projects under the trunk, tags, branches
default layout and Subversion is administered by the server teams,
which limits options there - like implementing SVK to make Subversion
usable.
You're going to run into this problems with all DVCS, whether you choose
git or hg or bzr or darcs. Some of them have extensions that provide a
limited work-around, but nothing that approximates the functionality of svn.

Regards,
Twylite
s***@yahoo.com
2010-02-20 00:11:18 UTC
Permalink
Joshua,

I just exported my SVN working copy to a new folder using TortoiseSVN.  It was pretty simple to add that export to a new Fossil repo.  Now actually using it was more confusing... :-)

Space isn't the biggest factor, but psychologically the users I support don't want everything on their computers.  They want their folders they are working with and that's it. And since only a few people really need/should have access to everything, we had to structure our  SVN repo to make sure the layout let them create a working copy with only what they needed.  Most users blow away the working copy when their code is incorporated into the mainline and create a new one for the next issue.  

If I could convince someone on the server side to let me set up Fossil like Clearcase, with each repository resembling a vob in Clearcase, that might be interesting but not something I have time to even try right now.   

I have used the msys git but I'd rather find a new job than try to implement it with 150 engineers, 143 of whom hate command line tools.  (Okay, I made that up but it's close.)

I don't know if it was Bazaar or Mercurial that made it easy to cherry pick the files but every six months or so I try to go out and look to see what's changed in the VCS world.  I'm glad I did, because like I said - I plan on using Fossil at home for my personal projects.

A quick question for those who have been using Fossil for awhile.  How hard would it be to emulate something like Flashbake?

http://boingboing.net/2009/02/13/flashbake-free-versi.html

Terry
 
s***@yahoo.com
2010-02-20 00:18:17 UTC
Permalink
I do like it - and can't believe I missed it until now.  I use SQLite all the time, something that has had steady, awesome improvements and was sort of hoping Fossil was on that same path, especially considering how little Subversion has changed in the last few years and how long it took to get even little changes implemented.  The company I work for even considered the feasibility of hiring someone, or even Collabnet, to get file level version control implemented but the way it's written makes it almost impossible. 

Version Control is a weird part of the software world.

Terry

--- On Thu, 2/18/10, ***@mail.com <***@mail.com> wrote:

From: ***@mail.com <***@mail.com>
Subject: Re: [fossil-users] Fossil, first impressions
To: shards23-***@yahoo.com, fossil-***@lists.fossil-scm.org
Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 10:30 PM

Hi Terry,

Fossil has many good features that made me look at, contribute to and use it as personal VCS.

However, fossil is created and maintained out of personal interest. It does not intent to become a next-gen DVCS system replacing git or others. The idea is: If you like it, use it.

- Altu


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