Don’t call me DOM

9 December 2009

Decentralized versioning system at W3C

Filed under: Uncategorized

We’ve heard from several groups and individuals that they would like W3C to host a public decentralized versioning repository for W3C-related work items, such as editors drafts, test suites, tools and software.

The goal of such a repository would be to host the reference versions of these items, while allowing as many people as possible to modify, branch, patch the content of the repository, without the hurdles that CVS creates for this kind of cooperation.

As we are looking into experimenting with such a service, we are hitting the question that many others have encountered in that process: which decentralized versioning system to choose?

The main two contenders seems to be Git and Mercurial; Git seems to have a growing number of tools, and more advanced features; Mercurial seems to be easier to use, and possibly easier to set up on a larger number of platforms. Here are some of the comparions we have found in our early investigations:

We’re interested to hear feedback on this question, in particular in the form of sharing experience of using them (inside or outside of the W3C community), and pros and cons of both systems.

We’re trying to have that discussion on our publicly archived mailing list public-qa-dev@w3.org (where I sent a message similar to this post), but feel free to use blog comments if you find that more practical.

Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux (dom@w3.org) is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.