SVN vs git on github

We're thinking about switching from SVN to git hosted by github.  Any community thoughts on this?

  • Great conversation.

    Alongside the question of which versioning control software the community decides to embrace, don't forget about the important scafolding which supports these exchanges.  Trac, Sourceforge, Google Code, and all the publically hosted DVCS sites have different degrees of support of issue/bug tracking, collaborative document authoring, and notifications.  We are discussing a entire collaborative ecosystem here, not just a narrow peice of technology.

    Also, it was not obvious to me until I started following along with the culture around DVCS, but good support for branching and merging really does afford an subltly different style of collaborating.

    I wrote a bit more about this in this post, after reading Sharing Code, for What its Worth.

    @Tom @ejucovy +1 on a community of "second-tier" contributors. Think of it as analogous to a wiki for code (not literally kept in a wiki though). There are certainly other F/OSS projects that have very sucesfully created healthy communities of non-core contributors.



  • First, I agree with Dave 100% - there are lots of other things that could be done to improve the health of the project and efficiency of contributions.  My #1 complaint has been trac.  (doesn't seem active, it was an old version, not clear if anyone was listening to patches).  If that's been upgraded, Amen!

    For those who really like Git, the good news is that you can actually use a Git client with a Subversion repository! It seems odd, but it works great.

    In my opinion, there are two issues that should get decided down the road:

    - Do we use Git?

    - Where is that hosted?

    I happen to believe that GitHub is just as much of a change as using Git itself! 

    For those in the SVN world, project kenai ( is less cool - but tries to do a lot of the same things as GitHub.

  • As a side, yet related, note, has any of you looked into the Atlassian suite (  We purchased it for work about a year ago and have been very pleased. They have a free license for open source projects (

    Just an idea to be filed away under "options".

  • @Ed It's been upgraded to the latest version of Trac.  GUI-wise, this doesn't change much.  I actually quite like trac's GUI, and the other point you brought up are a matter of core team / community involvement, which as I hope is clear we're improving.

    What I'm going to do in the not-too-distant future is set up mirroring SVN to github to let people unsure about git have a try...

  • As it wassaid before - main problem and task isn't technological issude, but methodological. Without appropriatechanging of development model (if it's needed) changing only SCM will do less than nothing:

    1. Branch merging works nice in SVN, if developer don't forget mantra "Merge ofteb, merge fast"

    2. Chaos of partially-finished brances in any DCVS give us all one more headache - "Where is the best branch for me?"

    3. As mentioned also - why even don't see at Mercurial (well-designed, smartly-implemented), which I see as a better choice in DCVS world vs Git (which was born as a mix of "home-made code" Perl+shell+...)

    DCVS in coomon plays welll in situation of

    1. a lot of developers,

    2. which implements unrelated and independent changes

    10-15 authors (with community-commiters) isn't a big problem for well-organized work with "classic" VCS

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