I'm Allergic to GNU Arch (tla)

A number of smart people I know are fans of GNU Arch (aka tla). There are also a number of projects that I follow that have adopted tla as their SCM solution (planner-mode, muse-mode, MoinMoin).

Now, I really think I have given it a chance. I've read through tutorials and even tried using it as my personal scm for awhile. But I find it incredibly opaque, unfriendly, and difficult to use. I think I'm allergic to it. Just about every time I have to interact with it I come to the edge of a cursing fit.

Even when I get it to do what I want, it irks me. Grab a copy of a project, make a few changes and ask for some diffs. First you have to figure out that you should say "tla changes --diffs". Then you wait while it does some bizarre computation to calculate a diff.

I've been experimenting with git and I find it much friendlier and more responsive. Here is a comparison of time to produce a simple diff for a modest tree with two small changes:

$ time tla changes --diffs > ../editor_quickhelp.diff

real    0m7.086s
user    0m4.518s
sys     0m1.359s          

Yikes! Here's the same operation on the same tree

$ time git diff > ../fixes.diff

real    0m0.162s
user    0m0.024s
sys     0m0.083s     

Now I probably should work harder to install baz which as I understand it has a much saner user interface. But last time I tried to build it on my OS X laptop, it errored out. I can't build the most recent tla either. Maybe it senses my loathing I don't know.

My current vote is going to git. I played with Mercurial (hg) for a bit and I really like that it is all Python based, but after giving git a whirl, it just doesn't have the same usability and quickness.

archived on 2006-04-01 in

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