git vs mercurial

Philippe Bruhat (BooK) philippe.bruhat at
Mon Nov 9 23:32:43 GMT 2009

On Mon, Nov 09, 2009 at 09:10:41PM +0000, Ash Berlin wrote:
> On 9 Nov 2009, at 20:59, Edmund von der Burg wrote:
>> So I'm planning to move away from svk.
>> Should I go with git or mercurial - I hear good things about both.
>> Cheers,
>>  Edmund.
> My understanding is both are excellent choices: git has more mind share 
> in perl and other OSS communities, and is faster, but mercurial is easier 
> to transition to from SVN. (from what i hear, I just went with git and 
> didn't find it too bad)

When I worked on a comparison of VCS tools for the transition from CVS
to something more modern for my company, I first looked at Mercurial,
which helped me understand what "distributed development" actually meant
(executive summary: all commits are uniquely identified, any commit can
start a branch, a branch is just when two or more commits have the same
parent, a merge is a commit with more than one parent).

Then I looked at git, which had even more features (like git bisect),
and we switched to git at work.

What I like about git is that once you have understood the underlying
object database (blobs, trees, commits, references), you know everything
that's possible to do with git. Actually doing it is just a matter of
syntax, or rather, a matter of combining the plethora of command line
tools available.

Also, I bought and read "Version Control with Git" a few weeks ago, and
found it excellent, especially with regard to explaining how the object
database works. Too bad it doesn't even mention the git stash command.

 Philippe Bruhat (BooK)

 When the employee is a fool, so is the employer.
                                    (Moral from Groo The Wanderer #26 (Epic))

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