Date: 2012-05-02 07:03 pm (UTC)
My argument is simpler, but comparable, and boils down to the same thing.

I want to be able to push. Git can't push shared branches because in the case of a potential collision, it has no recourse. The UI, "git push" is simple and the semantic is straightforward and obvious - I want my changes in that repository. Rather than do that, git simply throws up it's hands and refuses, (in the case where the destination has that branch checked out, or that branch has other changes that are not mine).

So... there's an obvious semantic, an obvious interpretation, and git doesn't do it. That's a pretty big and scarey culture shock coming from pretty much any source code control system developed in the last decade. With git, we're back to the geographic branches of clearcase multisite where each repository owns a branch and the other branches show up as read only. This doesn't scale very well, as we learned a couple of decades ago. It's a lot of extra work to manage all those potentially-automatic-but-failing merges.

The multiple hg heads are the natural conclusion to this problem of how to handle collisions in the repository. Hg can then propagate them anywhere and anyone in any repository can merge them. Not so in git. In git, you're reduced to sending random emails trying to find the person with whom you need to coordinate.

This isn't unique to hg, btw. Other systems do this as well.
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j h woodyatt

August 2012

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