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The Great Git Experiment

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The Great Git Experiment

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While many projects have claimed success with Git, a great many projects and developers continue to struggle with its adoption. In the fall of 2012, several projects chose to terminate rather than migrate their CVS repositories to Git. We have infrequent reports of commits being erased and general confusion regarding the workflow. While EGit does a good job of smoothing out the rough corners, it’s still the case that just writing code to a Git repository takes too many steps. I hear many complaints about committers forgetting to push their commits or having them lost in non-fast-forward merges.

This undercurrent of dissatisfaction came to a head last week at EclipseCon. I was cornered by several committers who were quite angry at having been forced to adopt Git and demanded that I allow them to roll back to CVS. The general consensus was that while at face value, Git appears to be better suited for encouraging contribution, the confusing nature of its workflow was actually having an opposite effect.

Data collected by Dash confirms it: many projects are actually losing committers and contributors because of Git. Non-committer contributions to projects has steadily dropped over the last twelve months. Projects that switched to Git early in the migration process did on average experience a short spike in contributions in the last few months of 2011, but in the general case, the contribution curve drops almost linearly from that period.

Contributions to Git Repositories

Faced with the backlash and drop in contribution, we have no choice. After careful consideration, and extensive discussions with the Eclipse Webmaster, we have decided that we have no choice but to migrate back to CVS. Given resource constraints–the webmaster team cannot support three version control systems–support for Git has been deprecated effective today. The Git server will be shutdown on December 21/2013.

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