Google Code Adds Mercurial Distributed Version Control System Support

A few weeks back IndicThreads reported on Python’s migration to the Mercurial Distributed Version Control System (DVCS) and today Google Code has announced support for Mercurial. Looks like Distributed VCS and particularly Mercurial will be the version control system of choice for the next few years, taking over from Subversion, CVS and the likes.

The Google code blog says

We are happy to announce that Project Hosting on Google Code now supports the Mercurial version control system in addition to Subversion. This is being initially rolled out as a preview release to a few invited users on a per-project basis, so that we can iron out the kinks before making this available to the general public.

Mercurial, like Git and Bazaar, is a distributed version control system (DVCS) that enables developers to work offline and define more complex workflows such as peer-to-peer pushing/pulling of code. It also makes it easier for outside contributors to contribute to projects, as cloning and merging of remote repositories is really easy.

While there were several DVCSs that we could support, our decision to support Mercurial was based on two key reasons. The primary reason was to support our large base of existing Subversion users that want to use a distributed version control system. For these users we felt that Mercurial had the lowest barrier to adoption because of its similar command set, great documentation (including a great online book), and excellent tools such as Tortoise Hg. Second, given that Google Code’s infrastructure is built for HTTP-based services, we found that Mercurial had the best protocol and performance characteristics for HTTP support.

The Google Code team has also published an analysis of Git and Mercurial, which is a good read if you are just starting off with DVCS.

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