Archive for October, 2012

Bookmarks Revisited Part II: Daily Bookmarking

It’s been a long time since I’ve written part I of the bookmarks revisited series. In the last two years, bookmarks changed a lot. They became part Mercurial’s core functionality and a lot of of tools became bookmark aware.

The current state of bookmarks

As of Mercurial 1.8 bookmarks are part of the Mercurials core. You don’t have to activate the extension anymore. Bookmarks are supported by every major Mercurial hosting platform. Commands like hg summary or hd id will display bookmark information. In addition, the push and pull mechanism changed. I will go into details about his Part III of the series.

It’s safe to say, due to it’s exposure, bookmarks became much more mature of the years. It’s time to take a look at how to use them.

Bookmark semantics

Bookmarks are pointers to commits. Think of it as a name for a specific commit. Unlike branches in Mercurial, bookmarks are not recorded in the changeset. They don’t have a history. If you delete them, they will be gone forever.

Bookmarks were initially designed for short living branches. I use them as such. It’s indeed possible to use them in different contexts, but I don’t do that. Please be aware, although they were initially intended to be similar to git branches, they often aren’t. They are not branches, they are bookmarks and they should be used like you would use a bookmark in a book. If you advance to the next site, you move the bookmark (or it gets moved).

A bookmark can be active. Only one bookmark can be active at any time, but it’s okay that no bookmark is active. If you have an active bookmark and you commit a new changeset, the bookmark will be moved to the commit. To set a bookmark active you have to update to the bookmark with hg update <name>. To unset, just update to the current revision with hg update ..

A bookmark can have a diverged markers. Bookmarks that are diverged will have a @NAME suffix. For example test@default. Diverged bookmarks are created during push and pull and will be described in Part III.


I should…

blog more. Open topics: DTrace Part II, Mercurial Bookmarks Part II.