Archive for July, 2008

I recently discovered which is a polished hosting platform for mercurial. It is pretty much like but much smaller. I really like the idea and the implementation of having a cooperative platform which allows you to watch and fork projects. So that’s why I moved my hgbookmarks implementation from over to with a free account.

But the best thing is that it is still very familiar with the main developer jesper hanging around in the #mercurial channel on freenode. He actually changed a few things on my repository as I’m too lazy to setup them up in the first time. Thanks for that.

Hopefully it will grow like github. Well at least I’m thinking about getting a $5/month account on it.

hgbookmarks is a implementation if git-styled branches for mercurial. It allows to create local bookmarks on certain commits that move forward with any commit. You can merge and update those bookmarks. You can think of bookmarks as named commit sha1s

GIT vs. SVN: 2:0

Again, git vs. SVN. Last time, it was big win for git. And guess what, git will strike again.

I mean nobody is perfect (expect Linus, but there is just one – as he mentioned once), so we actually fail writing bugfree code. Therefore we end up sitting in front of a huge code base trying to figure out what’s wrong. Thanks to our agile development process we usually end up fixing code we are not into.

So the facts:

  • We don’t know the code
  • We don’t have a clue where to search
  • We are lazy

Okay, if we drop 1. and 2. we still have to find out what went wrong. So as we tend to get our evening beer fast and don’t want to waste time, we use git bisect to find out when the problem was introduced.

Assume following commit history:

a –> a’ (bug introduced) –> b –> a” –> c

When we bisect the problem, we will end up doing a quick search on the commits, marking buggy commits/trees bad and those that work fine good. This means, we mark c as good, then git will take us to a. We mark that commit as good, which will git move to b. If we mark b bad, git knows that a’ must introduce the bug. Than just view the diff and you might know where to find the bad code and how to fix it.

Well, as long nobody trashed the history with their ‘fixed a hundred bugs’ commits, containing like thousends of unrelated changes. In those cases, just bisect your collegue. git vs. SVN: 2:0

take it with humour

GIT vs. SVN: 1 : 0

I used git for the last 6 month in a big project. The project itself is not maintained
in git but in subversion as this is what developers know and what project leaders like to use
for several reasons.

In fact it’s not a bad idea to actually use subversion as version control system, particularly if
the developer are used to it. Well, I don’t care about that. Thanks to git-svn I could use
git as my subversion frontend. For sure, the distributed architecture of git didn’t help me that much when it comes to exchanging changes as I was the only developer using git.

But thanks to the repository format and git rich featureset, I found myself using git in a
much more productive way than people could use subversion.

What I really love is pickaxe. You can use that feature by passing -S to git log causing the log
to search for the string in the commit history and display all the commits that contain these changes.
Actually one of our developers had a problem with a blur event in the java script code, causing
all forms in the script to lose their focus all the time. He was just searching for the point all the
time as going through the commit messages was obviously too much time consuming (with about 100 commits per day). To make a long story short: I’m really a Javascript dumbass, but I just picked the
latest commits having a blur in their name with git log -Sblur and I found 2 promising commits. Showing him the commits actually solved the problem. He just missed one point in the thousands lines
of Javascript containing the blur event that caused the problems. Okay so here are the statistics for that event: Subversion with incremental search, but Javascript knowledge: 3hours. Git without any knowledige and a lazy person using it: 10mins. GIT vs. SVN: 1:0

Experimental PHP 5.3 Tree

Approaching the 5.3 release of PHP, a lot of features were introduced
and discussed at the internals mailinglist. This includes closures, traits
and various other patches. Some of these patches are on hold and not yet
applied. Therefore only a few people can take a look at the new features. Particularly because they scare patching PHP themselves or they run into troubles while patching. To make those patches available for a wider audience
I start maintaining a PHP 5.3-exp branch containing experimental features and

Who is the audience:

  • (Core) Developers that don’t want to maintain their own patch series
  • Developers that want to discuss recent proposals at the mailinglist
  • PHP lovers, that want to keep up-to-date

The 5.3-exp branch is available at:

Latest tarballs are available at:

Please notice that experimental patches are untested and therefor can cause
problems. Also notice that I cannot guarantee that the patches run under every
platform supported by PHP. The patchset is tested under a recent Ubuntu Linux
system with latest re2c and librarys from the Ubuntu repositories.

Comments are welcome