Tutorial :What comes after distributed version control?


First there was a centralized model of version control (cvs, svn) and recently a distributed version control model was created (git, bzr, hg). Are there any other types of version control ideologies out there? Or what will be the next new one?


That's really impossible to say, until someone does it.

Back in the 80's we didn't call our version control systems "centralized", and pine for the days when someone would come up with distributed ones. That's a name people put on them after distributed ones were invented. It is only in retrospect that it looks like an obvious step.


We will be using google wave to edit source collaboratively in real-time.


I'd imagine that the next step is more finely tuned diff/merge mechanisms. Have you ever tried to merge an XML document that someone has reformatted? it's impossible because it's being diffed as simple text.


Looks like a difficult question. DVCS is still in its infancy considering is pretty new for enterprises out there (it only has a wide adoption among OSS projects).

As a developer of Plastic SCM, a commercially supported distributed version control system, I'd say we still have to see lots of new stuff from distributed systems. That being said, for me, after DVCS we'll see "code aware version control tools":

  • Being able to diff code "understanding" the language (ok, parsing it will be more than enough) (this is something that Eclipse is almost able to do it).
  • Better support for refactoring based on parsing + version control
  • Code aware merge



My guess, based entirely on nothing and more of a wishful thinking, is the next steps would be cloud version control and P2P based version control systems.

The cloud's main features are high availability and geo spread.

P2P - well, also high availability, security, saved bandwidth.

We're yet to wrap our heads around what the next generation of source control would be but brainstorming doesn't hurt. I welcome any input.


A version management system is merely a service and went from client-server to p2p. I don't know many more network topologies than that.


Versioning file systems possibly? ;o) Just kidding, it wouldn't have anywhere near the amount of functionality that would be needed to be useful. But may be helpful in some ways.

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