[Biopython-dev] SVN migration and Launchpad mirroring

Chris Lasher chris.lasher at gmail.com
Sun Feb 8 19:34:08 UTC 2009

On Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 2:03 PM, Bartek Wilczynski
<bartek at rezolwenta.eu.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 5:47 PM, Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio
> <dalloliogm at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I like github and I think its web interface is one of the best to work
>> with git: it has some tools that I didn't see in the other hosting
>> services supporting git (trac, gitorious), especially those for
>> creating forks.
>> The problem is that the basic account on github is limited to 100 MB,
>> and with the peculiar approach adopted by git (distributed source
>> control) anyone wishing to participate code to biopython should have
>> to create an account on github and in theory create a copy of the
>> repository in his space.
>> Moreover, I think it would be more difficult to use git without the
>> tools offered by github, even if we configure a git repository with
>> trac or similar on the openbio's servers. I don't know if the git-trac
>> plugins has a feature to show all the forks like the one in github.
>> Maybe I am just wrong.. but you should ask to the bioruby people how
>> they are comfortable with these issues, since they are more expert.
> Have you tried to use bazaar+launchpad? It's really easy and should do
> all the tricks you need from a distributed vcs. It  also has features for
> bugtracking (like trac on github) but i dont' know if we are unhappy with
> current setup (bugzilla). I think bzr+launchpad has a number of advantages
> over git+github:
> -> can work with CVS as a master repository which means that the
> transition would
> not require going through SVN (although if it would help people from
> OBF it is also possible).
> -> Anyone used to cvs commands (commit, diff, update etc..) can use bzr without
> trouble. You only need to know new "distributed" commands (push,branch)
> -> it supports centralized decisions on merging: the possible scenario
> is that only a
> limited number of people can merge to the main repository (push in bzr
> terminology)

This is a good discussion. The longer BioPython has taken to move to
SVN and the more I've worked with distributed revision control
systems, the more inclined I am to say that moving from CVS to SVN is
a waste of time. The advantages of DSCMs and the tools that have
emerged around them (GitHub, Launchpad, Bitbucket, etc.) are too great
to ignore; at some point in BioPython's path, it will move over to one
of these tools. So why not skip to the current generation of SCM?

I'm most a fan of Bazaar VCS, especially given its great integration
with Launchpad. If BioPython were to move to hosting its bugs on
Launchpad (I believe importing from Bugzilla is possible), I think the
benefit becomes significantly greater, due to the great ability to
automatically associate branches/commits with bugs. If BioPython
chooses to stick with Bugzilla, that feature wouldn't be as useful. (I
think the same could be said for using the GitHub + Lighthouse

On that note, I do recommend making sure that the BioPython project
moves the code to one of these "social coding" sites (e.g., GitHub,
Launchpad, Bitbucket). They bring the "who's working on what" that's
necessary for tracking the project as a whole.

Finally, none of this is really technically challenging, just socially
challenging: we have to find a consensus and then actually follow
through and make the move. It's 2009; we need to say goodbye to CVS,
acknowledge that we missed our time with SVN, and just go straight to
a DSCM and a modern code tracking site.

Chris L.

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