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Re: Perforce vs CVS

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Simon Cozens
July 25, 2000 20:13
Re: Perforce vs CVS
Message ID:
On Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 01:03:08PM +1000, wrote:
> So far, the only "pro" I've seen for Perforce is "it's much nicer".  On
> the other hand, it's:
> - not open source nor even (beer) free

It's beer free for open source projects. I'm working on an open source clone,
but as my premonition is playing up, I only got a day's warning of this
conversation and I haven't started coding yet. Give me a week or so to get
something up and running. We won't have any code to check in before then, so
we don't need to decide quite yet.

> - not as well understood by most developers

It's really, really easy. Honest.

> I'd hate to see us create a barrier to entry which discourages people
> from reading or contributing to the perl source.

What's happened so far is that only designated porters have access to
making Perforce changes. This seems sensible, as long as we allow everyone
to easily get at the repository.

> I'd like to hear some discussion on the following points:
> - what Perforce offers that CVS doesn't

Three-way merging, and easy branching and integrating of code paths. So if,
say, I want to go away and hack on Unicode stuff, I could (theoretically)
branch the entire source tree, do my work, and then it shouldn't be hard
to reintegrate it when I'm done.

The key to this is the three-way merge, which provides a nice easy way of
comparing the original, my changes and your changes. It means you can have
several people hacking on the same file, without lock contention and without
CVS's nargery.

> - how important or beneficial these features are to Perl

It's been great for the configure/devel branches, and it should have been
useful for backporting fixes to maintainance releases, although I haven't seen
how this is done so that's wild speculation.

> - what a developer needs to do/learn/etc to move to Perforce from CVS

It's really, really easy.

>   and how much of a barrier to entry it would be
> - what are the social/PR implications of choosing Perforce and what will
>   their impact be?

The pumpkings use Perforce already.

The perl5-porters FAQ may be helpful to people joining this discussion - I
note we've had a "What's a pumpkin?" question already. It lives at

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. ... 
The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the
dangers and pertubations of love is Hell."
                         -CS Lewis "The Four Loves"

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