On monday I went to what I believe was Randal Schwartz’s first presentation on “git”. Randal Schwartz has more than a few character flaws, but is really really good at presenting technical information. Linus Torvalds personally invited him to work on git documentation.

Looking around the room I saw a whole lot of the who’s who of local FOSS developers. Not as many as I would expect to see at OSCON, but quite a few. Most surprisingly of all was the unmistakable “Linus Torvalds” himself. He came to heckle Randal, or at times smooth out rough spots. Randal did most of the talking, but in some cases he was stumped.

“git” is really interesting. Most of the people in the room were software developers who had used more than one software version control system. Several of them expressed the opinion that git seemed to duplicate all of the best features of their favorite version control system without copying the flaws. I would really like to go into some of the details of that, but those two hours were really densely packed with information. I recommend just trying it.

Since I’m an admin at PLANET ARGON, a company that both does a lot of software development, and has a lot of hosting customers that do software development I was especially interested in deployment issues. With subversion there is a plugin for Apache that lets you do svn commits to a web page, and I wanted to know if there was something similar for git. Randal said that git wouldn’t work well with webdav because of how it does things, and he wasn’t sure how to manage such a thing. At this point Linus stood up, and addressed me directly. He pointed me to a “sourceforge for git”. It uses ssh keys to manage multiple developers using the same user account for git repos. He said though that he hasn’t tried it himself. I installed git, and cogito on a bunch of our hosting servers, but it won’t be an officially supported service until we have a chance to do things like test how much system resources it uses. Ken Brush, formerly of OSDL, pointed out to me that http://www.kernel.org/git/ is so loaded that the page times out consistently.