Have you converted from subversion to mercurial? Was it worth the effort?

 

Questions


I am in the process of knowing Mercurial versioning system better, and I am considering convert from SVN.
Anyone already converted? Was that difficult for you and your team to switch?
Can you give any advice to stay with SVN or go for Mercurial?

 

 

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Answer

I don’t have experience with mercurial (use git instead) but the difference in experience between a good DVCS like mercurial or git vs. svn is something that you truly can’t go back from once you’ve gotten past the learning curve.

  • Local commits free up your workflow, your approach to coding features determines when you commit instead of your commits affecting how you work.
  • Svn’s linear revision numbers are -bad-. Commits (especially with branches) simply do not correspond well to a simple incrementing mapping.
  • Local branches make compartmentalizing features much easier and better, prototyping becomes much simpler.
  • (only slightly related, but) Working offline tends to allow you to make changes faster than your competitors.

I had a job recently that involved going back to using a centralized svn repository after using git for a year or two. I approached it by using the git-svn bridge, and found that I had great control over the commits compared to svn, and could make the commits and branches sit, roll over, and play dead in ways that gave me a useful advantage over my svn using co-workers, in addition to the large volume of commits that I made by comparison because of the very granular and frequent nature of doing local commits. It was a great benefit.

I really really recommend giving yourself some time with a DVCS.

mercurial,svn

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