Hi Peter,

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:16:04PM +0000, Peter Hancock wrote:
> Would the decision to move from SVN to another VCS be in the hands of
> the wider ASF community?

The central repository is owned by the ASF and a decision to move
is in the hands of the Apache Software Foundation membership.

> Discussions about migrating from SVN to GIT are often held on
> infrastructure-...@apache.org and I imagine it is only a matter of
> time before this happens across the projects, and with sensible
> consideration.

I do not read infrastructure-...@apache.org, but I think that it is
mainly a technical list, devoted a.o. to the development of the GIT
front end to the ASF subversion repository. The political and legal
issues of GIT vs. subversion are discussed on other lists.

> GIT certainly makes the creation and merging of branches easier to
> manage and this is just one of many features that FOP developers would
> gain from a switch to GIT or another DVCS (Distributed VCS).  Another
> aspect of particular interest to contributors without committer status
> is that a DVCS gives every developer first class version control of
> their local development workflow, something that is not possible using
> SVN alone.
> Combining both SVN and GIT can get you a long way but as long as SVN
> is the central VCS there will remain a steep learning curve required
> to contribute effectively to FOP, and no satisfactory way of
> addressing the issue of submitting patches:  Currently, contributors
> are encouraged to submit SVN compatible diffs to a Bugzilla issue,
> however this format does not contain the richness of information
> potential contained within a series local GIT commits.  Submitting a
> GIT generated diff preserves the original workflow, but then defers
> the responsibility of handling the GiT SVN bridge onto the committer,
> further adding a layer of complexity to a job that the time stretched
> few currently struggle to keep on top of!

The advantages, disadvantages, benefits and risks of GIT vs subversion
have been discussed on the ASF email lists at length.

I want to reiterate that for the ASF it is important that contributors
_push_ the code which they want to contribute to an ASF project under
their Contributor License Agreement. It cannot be _pulled_ by a
committer. That is the main problem for the ASF in using a Distributed
VCS.

Legally it would be OK to submit a GIT patch. It might be useful to
submit such a patch if you had agreed with a committer that they are
willing to deal with your GIT patch.

> I find GIT an indispensable tool and encourage all members of this
> community to investigate GIT, or perhaps other next generation DVCS
> (Distributed VCS), and see how they may help on both an individual and
> collaborative basis.
> 
> Pete

Thanks for your considerations.

Simon

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