2010-12-16 02:44:46 UTC
I discovered fossil yesterday while reading the Wikipedia page that compares
version control systems. I read lots of the material on the fossil website,
and I must say that fossil looks very promising. Congratulations on what
appears to a great piece of software!
I have very little experience with version control, but I'd like to start
using it more. I work in a Clearcase environment, but I don't use Clearcase
myself because I work relatively independently (I am an aerospace research
engineer who writes prototype software for research in air traffic control).
I recently started doing a little research on the alternatives. I watched
Linus Torvalds talk at Google, and he sold me on distributed version
control. At first I was interested in Git and BitKeeper. Then I discovered
Bazaar, and I was almost ready to start using it, but I decided to take one
more look at the options. When I saw fossil, I figured, with a name like
that, it's a real long shot, but I'll take a look anyway. Sure enough, it
looks impressive. I just have a few questions.
The Bazaar website claims that one advantage of Bazaar over Git is that it
properly handles renames of files and directories. That is important to me.
I'm very particular about filenames and directory structure, and I don't
want to feel that I am stuck with the first file name or directory structure
I chose because changing it will confuse my version control system (or
confuse the people using it). How does fossil compare to Bazaar in that
regard? While your at it, I'd be interested to know how it compares to
Bazaar in general.
I downloaded fossil and gave it a try on my Linux machine. The first time I
tried to add files, I got stuck in some mode that I could not get out of.
Apparently, my EDITOR environment variable was not set, and I was supposed
to give a comment. Fossil was showing a question mark, but I did not know
what it wanted, and not even Control-C would get me out. I ended up killing
the terminal and deleting the repository I had just created in case it was
corrupted. How was I supposed to respond to the question mark?
By the way, why do these version control systems insist on a comment? Yes, I
understand that commenting is good practice, but does that mean it should be
mandatory and the version control system should force me to write one? I
tend to think not.