Podcast 036Revision #2, 1/7/2009 11:58 PM
Podcast 036Revision #5, 1/12/2009 11:41 AM
Spolsky: edit me!
Atwood: edit me!
Sink: edit me!
Spolsky: It's like you're standing in my ear. Let's tell our listeners what this show is all about. today we have a special guest/host, see it's not like a guest, it's like a guest/host. And our guest/host today is Eric Sink of Sourcegear
Atwood: That's right. And you know, what I have directly in front of me, which is awesome is I have this book "Eric Sink on the busines of software"
Spolsky: Oh, yeah, yeah, Jeff you should read that.
Atwood: And it has, it is signed, which is nice, very nice, thank you Eric, and it also has a foreword by this guy Jewel Spolllssskyyy, I don't know who that is, some guy wrote a foreword, but it's a good book, and you know what? It's funny as I actually read this book, actually cover to cover recently, occasinally, when I go on trips I take books like this with me and Eric, I have read a bunch of your stuff obviously as you'h posted it, but i have all these dgo-eared pages from questions that I had when I was reading the book, so we can get into that at some point, but this is a great book and I really enjoyed it. Now, this is mostly a compilation, though, right? This is a compilation of stuff you'd posted on your blog is that true?
Sink: Yeah, that's right. Most of the stuff was on the blog first and we cleaned it up a little bit during the editing process for the book but mostly it's blog stuff.
Atwood: But I enjoy compilations like this, because with the blogs you always, with the blogs I mean obviously you can read it online, but sometimes it's nice to get a continual stream. It's kinda like, say you're watching the Sopranos, you can watch one episode every Sunday for a month, or you could just watch all of it on DVD, all at once.
Spolsky: that works well for the "Arrested Development" I found.
Atwood: Yeah, sometimes it's just nice to cosume a lot, like you know it's good,like Sopranos is good, so like if one episode is good, so fifteen episodes in a row is awesome.
Atwood: ... If you assume -- and this is a big assumption -- that most developers have kinda sorta mastered fundamental source control -- which I find not to be true, frankly...
Spolsky: No. Most of them, even if they have, it's the check-in, check-out that they understand, but branching and merging -- that confuses the heck out of them.
Atwood: Right. Did we lose Eric?
Sink: I muted for a second just to try something. Go ahead.
Atwood: Okay. So, with that in mind, do you feel like... these new source control systems... The big hook -- and this is what you brought up, Joel -- is that they theoretically make branching and merging much easier, which, if true, is a big deal, because that is by far one of the most complicated things to master in Subversion or...
Spolsky: To me, the fact that they make branching and merging easier just means that your coworkers are more likely to branch and merge, and you're more likely to be confused.
Sink: That's very true.
Atwood: True, but... I don't know. Eric, I'd like to hear your opinion on this.
Sink: Well, Joel asked me to select some questions, and all the questions I was looking at on Stack Overflow were about DVCS, Git, Subversion, and why they're better. We can go and dive into that now, but it's something I think about a lot.
Atwood: Let's do it. I would love to hear about it.
Sink: Okay. The thing about DVCS... the first thing I usually want to say is...
Spolsky: DVCS is Distributed...
Sink: Distributed Version Control System -- or Decentralized sometimes.
Spolsky: So that's what Mercurial and Git are -- the first generation...
Sink: That's right. Although I guess Larry McVoy of BitKeeper would probably want us to say that his was the first generation, which is probably pretty close to true, because he's had this basic technology shipping for years and years, but of course his system costs a ton. The thing is, it's really intriguing, but all of the evangelism about it is really awful. People ask, "Why should I use DVCS?" and the usual answer is, "Go see Linus's video on YouTube," and the second answer is, "I can code on an airplane." The problem is, first of all, we hardly ever code on airplanes, and Linus's video is so rabidly pro-DVCS and really inflammatory... He's done more damage to DVCS's going mainstream than anyone else.
Sink: Oh yeah. If you look at his video, he basically says, if you're a Subversion user, you're an idiot.
Spolsky: So that makes people want to be Subversion users, because they want to be idiots... No!
Sink: I don't know what it makes people want to do, but it doesn't make people want to use Git...