Why is netbeans.org switching from CVS to Mercurial (Hg)

There are several technical reasons for the switch. The most important aspect is scalability. CVS does not scale so well if the size of a project and if the number of developers working on the project is as large as in our case. Even SVN would not be as sufficient as Hg in this area.

  • Performance of Hg is superior to CVS
  • updating local clone of the repository is significantly faster than cvs update
  • other operations (e.g. diff or stat) are also much faster
  • Functionality of Hg is superior to CVS
  • moving and renaming files is handled better in the history
  • commits of changes to Hg are done in an atomic operation
  • other users will not update their sources with only a part of your change
  • a change can be easily identified in the history as an atomic change set
  • Hg allows off-line work with repository
  • everyone keeps a local clone of the repository and operations against the repository can be done in an off-line mode (e.g diffs)
  • users are protected against server crashes or other temporary problems, many operations can be faster done against local disk, and there is no risk of overloading a central server
  • people can maintain private forks more easily


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