When 9front started, it started on Google Code.

At the time, the only version control system Google supported was Mercurial (aka hg). A couple of Python ports existed, and that's mostly what hg needs, so taruti commited the Plan 9 source to a Google Code repo.

When Google razed Google Code, I put up our own hg server. A few years later we watched Bitbucket kill all their hg repos.

I don't think anyone likes git, but Ori wrote git9, and native anything is better than outdated unix ports.

On the other hand, I don't think anyone liked hg all that much either. It was slightly easier to use than the official git software, but not that much easier.

Like all the other Programmer Bureaucracy Enablement Platforms, git and hg both make weird assumptions about how computers should work, and porting is an exercise in reconstructing those assumptions sufficently for the software to stumble along.

git9 is git, but reimagined for Plan 9.

So, even though I really dislike git, I'm glad that 9front is now being developed using tools that work with Plan 9, instead of tools that work despite Plan 9.

Python (and thus hg) never really fit into the system. It had to be built with a POSIX compat layer. Some stuff never did work right. It was good enough. I'm glad it's gone.

That leaves Ghostscript (another unix albatross) as the biggest Foreign Object in 9front.

Folks are working on making it obsolete. It's great and I can't wait.


@khm I may regret asking, but why do you dislike git?

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@joegrimer It doesn't do its job well, it's a pain in the ass to use, and it won because of name recognition instead of being good.

Git doesn't manage source code; it's a toolkit for manually fidgeting with commit logs, but everyone still winds up with 45,000-line "fix typos" commits.

Even as generic as it is, it requires extensions/hacks to handle a lot of kinds of data.

Better tools were eclipsed "because Linus."

But mostly: git-man-page-generator.lokalto is indistinguishable from real docs.

@khm @joegrimer This is interesting! Do you have any alternatives that you like better, or yet-to-be-implemented designs that feel right to you? The only other DVCSs I am aware of are fossil and bazaar.

@winduptoy @joegrimer There was a sort of Cambrian Explosion of DVCS software in the early 2000s.

Bazaar/git/mercurial/fossil all sort of seem the same to me. GNU Arch did a better job of actually managing software as software, but developer drama snuffed it out early.

Darcs is probably the most useful one to read about, with their "patch theory." Unfortunately it was written in Haskell, which I think severely inhibited its update; Haskell in 2004 did not have the ecosystem it does today.

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