>So with the latest round of “Murphy’s Law” intruding in on some routine server upgrades at eclipse, the talk of needing to have a DVCS available started heating up again. Currently it seems that there are two view points:
- We do not need it
- It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
While researching DVCS and the various options I ran across an interesting blog post, “Let’s talk about DVCS”. The main body of the blog is alright, the really interesting bits come down in the comments section. One interesting comment comes from the GNOME Do  project:
In the development of Gnome Do we loved using bzr. If someone wanted to come in and try to implement a feature we just said “go for it, create a branch”. We could then follow it, test it, make suggestions. We didn’t have to setup extra accounts or create a branch for this person to use ourselves. Because merging is so much easier to do in bzr, once the guy got the branch in shape, it was not problem to merge it into one of our branches and get it into release. — Rick Harding
CVS and Subversion really make merging a pain. Also working with Branches is no fun in CVS, SVN is a bit better here. The big advantage though is allowing a user to have a basic local copy of the tree, work on their changes in whatever way they want, and then submitting a patch. Right now a contributor has to maintain multiple versions of a patch as changes are made to the base line during development. If you have extensive changes that need to be done as you’ve done some pretty extensive refactorings it can become a real pain to manage these.
There are reasons to allow DVCS, but I also think it should work with existing repositories and not necessarily replace them. I also think that it might be time for CVS to see it’s end of life at eclipse. Subversion truelly is a step up, and there are bridges that allow various DVCS systems to work with Subversion and keep in synch. The issue for subversion migration at the least is the issue of redistribution of the SVNKit libraries since they aren’t licensed under an approved license.
Regardless though, DVCS is something that should be considered where it makes sense. Anything that we can do to help make it easier for potential contributors and committers to work on eclipse code, should be done. It’s a win-win for both groups.
 Updated: Corrected the reference to the Gnome Do project instead of the Gnome project.