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Support For Mercurial At CodePlex

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Sara Ford, Program Manager at CodePlex, announced on Friday that CodePlex has added support for Mercurial, a Distributed Version Control System (DVCS) similar to Git. Currently this feature is only available for new projects, but CodePlex advice current project owners to contact CodePlex Support if they want to switch from Team Foundation Server to Mercurial.

Google published a DVCS analysis of Git and Mercurial from a research done back in 2008 in relation to version control for Google Code. Back then Google concluded:

In terms of implementation effort, Mercurial has a clear advantage due to its efficient HTTP transport protocol.

In terms of features, Git is more powerful, but this tends to be offset by it being more complicated to use.

A benchmarking test in the same analysis showed Mercurial to perform better over HTTP:

As a benchmark, Git and Mercurial repositories were seeded with approximately 1500 files totaling 35 M of data. The servers were running in Chicago and the clients in Mountain View (51 ms ping time). The operation of cloning the remote repository (similar to a initial checkout in traditional version control systems) averaged 8.1 seconds for Mercurial and 178 seconds for Git (22 times slower). A single file in the repository was then changed 50 times and the clients pulled the updates. In this case, Mercurial took 1.5 seconds and Git required 18 seconds (12 times slower). When the Git protocol was used instead of HTTP, Git's performance was similar to Mercurial (8.7 seconds for cloning, 2.8 seconds for the pull).

In the CodePlex announcement, popularity and Windows support was highlighted:

Mercurial is one of the most popular distributed version control systems and offers great support for Windows based tools as well as works very well as a hosted service.

In late 2008 CodePlex added support for TortoiseSVN, so that SVN users could synchronize with the repository running Team Foundation Server.

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