Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

The Mercurial SCM: great for lots of stuff, but not the holy grail

I have been tracking the mercurial project for a couple years now. First just a bookmark under python+scm, then after using hg to code on an airplane about a year later, I was hooked. I helped get the microformats testing effort using mercurial about a year later, and did some noodling on Access control and version control: an over-constrained problem? around that same time.

Yesterday I played host to Matt Mackall as he gave a presentation, The Mercurial SCM, to the W3C Team. In the disucssion that followed, we touched on:

  • fractal project organization (touching on PartiaClone and the ForestExtension)
  • the toplogy of update flows in a large development system with
    overlapping communities with differentt access rights
  • comparisons with Darcs
  • hg hosting, large projects, user support

It seems that hg scales to very large projects, as long as they're fairly uniform, but it doesn't support the sort of tangly fractal web of inter-project dependencies that would make it the holy grail of version control systems.