June 3, 2007

Linus Torvalds on Source Control

Posted in Coding, Development, Software at 12:51 pm by mj

This was on Slashdot earlier. It’s a really interesting video of Linus speaking at the Googleplex about the design philosophy of GIT, and why other version control systems are solving the wrong problems.

Forget all the comments about Linus being an arrogant git and so on, he makes a compelling point about distributed repositories and networks of trust, even inside corporate environments. Toward the end, he also talks about how GIT’s use of SHA-1 to provide consistency also aids in recovery of a lost/corrupted repository even from people you don’t trust.

Of course, he is a bit wrong about the problems with CVS/SVN merges. Developers experienced with merging in those environments know how to get around some of the most annoying problems (e.g., remember (tag) the point at which you last merged to avoid phantom conflicts). But he’s still right about the more fundamental design flaws.


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