Saturday, August 07, 2010

Git is Coming to PostgreSQL

As discussed at the PGCon 2010 Developer Meeting, PostgreSQL is scheduled to adopt git as its version control system some time in the next few weeks. Andrew Dunstan, who maintains the PostgreSQL build farm, has adapted the build farm code to work with either CVS or git; meanwhile, Magnus Hagander has done a trial conversion so that we can all see what the new repository will look like. My small contribution was to write some documentation for the PostgreSQL committers, which has subsequently been further edited by Heikki Linnakangas (the link here is to his personal web page, whose one complete sentence is one of the funnier things I've read on the Internet).

I don't think the move to git is going to be radical change; indeed, we're taking some pains to make sure that it isn't. But it will make my life easier in several small ways. First, the existing git clone of the PostgreSQL CVS repository is flaky and unreliable. The back-branches have had severe problems in this area for some time (some don't build), and the master branch (aka CVS HEAD) has periodic issues as well. At present, for example, the regression tests for contrib/dblink fail on a build from git, but pass on a build from CVS. While we might be able to fix (or minimize) these issues by fixing bugs in the conversion code, switching to git should eliminate them. Also, since I do my day-to-day PostgreSQL work using git, it will be nice to be able to commit that way also - it should be both faster (CVS is very slow by comparison) and less error-prone (no cutting and pasting the commit message, no forgetting to add a file in CVS that you already added in git).

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