Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Darcs, Trac, SVK

I’ve been using darcs for quite some time now, and I’m generally happy with it. It’s reliable, simple to use and doesn’t get in the way, nor does it force me naming conventions, coding styles or directory organizations.

The most useful feature it has for me is the interactive commit: I’m hacking away on some feature, I found some other bug, I fix the bug, and then I can commit just the bug fix, and keep on hacking.

Recently, I’ve started using Trac, both at work and personally. I find it very good to keep track of projects. The integration of wiki, ticketing and source control functions in a single package, with seamless linking between all of them is very productive. The problem is that Trac does not support darcs as a source control system, it only supports subversion.

For now, I’ve solved the problem using the excellent tailor script, specifically the VersionOne version.

There is a patch to add native support of darcs to Trac, done by Lele Gaifax (also the author of Tailor), but I haven’t tested it yet. Seems very nice though. Check the Browse Source option there to see how it looks.

The current problem is that, although I can use darcs and the tailor script or the darcs patch to trac to keep my own stuff, I cannot do that at work.

We use CVS here, and the only possible switch in the near future would be to subversion. The leap to a full distributed SCM is too big right now, although it would solve some issues.

So the roadmap is to use CVS for the time being, using Tailor to push the CVS commits into the subversion repository under Trac.

But, has we get more comfortable with svn, I don’t see any reason to keep on using CVS. The command line options are almost identical, and they are the same if you only use basic stuff. Also most of the users that would switch to svn use Tortoise CVS on Windows, so they can switch to Tortoise SVN.

After we move to svn, I need to really try and use svk, and is little brother svl. svk has been on my sights for almost 6 months now, and it seems really great. The recent interview with the lead developer/creator of svk increased my interest in it. The cherry-on-top was the news that support for incremental commits, darcs-style, is being added to svk. Very nice!

So with this news, I think I’ll have to try svn/svk in the near future. It might be a very good combo to use at work.