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home > news > developers > distributed scm: you don't get it until you got it

Distributed SCM: You Don't Get It Until You Got It

There has been a lot of debate about the merits of distributed source control management systems, but until you've seriously worked with one you just won't understand how appealing they are. Just ask any developer who has had to go back to a single-repository system. Chris Adamson recently blogged, "what are the advantages of distributed SCM, beyond the globe-spanning mega-projects?" I've been hearing that question for a long time; it started whenever a new engineer joined a Sun project and had trouble getting their head around TeamWare. But it's hard to answer that question except with, "try it for a while and you'll see." The reason that's a hard question to answer is because a distributed SCM creeps up on you and changes the way you work, in a subtle way you don't notice until you have to work on a single-repository SCM again. The reason is that branching is very easy on a distributed SCM and so you use it all the time; it's so easy that you rarely notice you are branching. Anytime engineers want to work on something independently, whether it be in different cities across the globe, between co-workers, or just by themselves working on two projects at once, all you do is clone the repository you want to work with from some other copy, which becomes the parent of your new copy. Make any changes you like in this copy, the...


Date: September, 13 2008
Url: http://www.java.net/blog/2008/09/12/distributed-scm-you-dont-get-it-until-you-got-it


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