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Nick Plante

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Git in the Spotlight

April 01, 2008

There's been a lot of fuss recently about Git, the distributed version control system, particularly within the Ruby community (at least, that's why I'm aware of it). In addition to it's distributed nature, Git offers a number of other advantages including sophisticated branch handling and performance and storage optimizations.

The downside is a slightly more complex syntax and of course a bit of a learning curve. However, excellent tools such as GitHub and Gitorious are easing this curve somewhat by making repository hosting easier than ever before.

Today, the Rails core team officially announced that the development codebase (Rails Edge) will be moving from Subversion to a new Git repository within the very near future, thus adding another bullet to the list of high-profile OSS projects using it.

I've been using Git in conjunction with Subversion for a couple months now, and find myself enjoying it's approach to branching and "local commits", among other things. I wouldn't consider myself proficient yet, however -- I still struggle with routine things (git equivalents for simple things like svn revert) from time to time. But I'm getting there, and I truly believe that its features, particularly in larger team/OSS environments, give it a serious advantage over traditional centralized repositories.

How does everyone else feel about Git? Or other distributed version control systems such as Mercurial or Darcs, for that matter? Has the time for their mainstream proliferation finally arrived?

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