GNU Arch

Brett Rasmussen brett.rasmussen at
Wed Mar 9 18:22:28 MST 2005

I've done a little more poking around about darcs, and I have to say I agree
with Hans on darcs' interface: it looks *lots* simpler than arch's. And I love
the idea that the working directory IS the repository.

Here's a very worthwhile and fair discussion of darcs vs. arch, courtesy of
Richard Esplin's googling skillz:

It mentions some maturity issues and the memory concerns, but otherwise makes a
good case for darcs.

As for the memory concerns, I had gotten them second-hand from what I'm guessing
originated with this comment from darcs' creator:

"Be forewarned that darcs is a bit of a memory hog when run with large
repositories, so the above command may take quite a while, and probably
will require 700 or 800 megabytes of virtual memory.  The actual working
set of memory is under 300 megabytes.  Work is underway to improve both the
speed and memory usage of darcs.  So far the emphasis in darcs development
has been on correctness and stability."

That was from and dated November 10th 2004. He
was talking about checking out the linux kernel tree. I'm not entirely sure
about this one, but I understand the kernel tree is much smaller than the memory
usage suggested here.

Nonetheless, darcs' simplicity seems a huge advantage. Just from what I've
learned recently, I'd suggest anyone looking for a version control system give
it a try before deciding (even on my beloved arch), especially if the project
isn't likely to get huge and complex.

I'm still curious about how it handles various other tasks, and when I get some
time I'm going to give it a whirl and see how it does. Hans, I'd be interested
in your findings in getting/using the kernel repository.


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