Software Development with Linux

Distributed Version Control Systems will rule the world

MON, 01 MAR 2010

Yes, I am not exaggerating.  Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS) will (eventually) rule the world.  Not only the software development world.  The whole world.  Why am I so confident about this?  Joel Spolsky is now sold to DVCS.

Now, it's not really because of Joel Spolsky is new enthusiasm, but it is the point he made : DVCS allow you to better control changes.  Controlling changes is the most important feature (beside easy backups) for a version control system.  And distributed ones are build around this need, instead of simply considering it as a nice-to-have.

I'm not saying that this will happens overnight.  Subversion will still be used for a long time, as CVS is still in used today.  That's why I've done a CVS clients review series, and I'm currently doing a Subversion clients review series.  Those tool will still be used by the industry in the years to come.  But if you are starting a new project and you are not considering a DVCS of some kind, you are not doing it correctly.  It is not as if the options were missing : Mercurial, Git, and Bazaar are some of the most popular ones, and you can get commercial support for all of them if you want to.

Don't be afraid of the "distributed" part, it does not result in chaos and death.  Choose one (I can help you, if you want), try it on a small project, and you will see how it improve the productivity of your team.

Photo credit : kevindooley.