Came across this exciting bit of news on the ol wireless just recently that rails is moving from SVN to Git. Exciting times indeed as more and more developers are realising the merits of distributed source control to manage an ever expanding code base. This Irish Penguin’s been in the fortunate position of working a lot with Mercurial, an alternative to Git, for the last few weeks and these types of tools are just a great way to work.

One of the big pluses is that your code and your repository (the history of all edits you’ve ever made to the code) is all in one directory which makes the process of source control really filesystem based. This is great when you’re learning and just experimenting as you become more familiar with your new favourite toy. If you want to try something out, you just copy the directory somewhere and if it all goes to pot then it’s just a quick copy command to restore it back to its original state!

If you’re a Ruby or Python dev one of the really nice things about Mercurial (also known as hg - after the chemical symbol) is that it’s done in Python, which means that it’s pretty easy to hack a bit of code together if you want to extend functionality. A whole Saturday was lost to the cause of hacking Mercurial in Dublin’s Central Hotel last weekend - as your host recovered from a bout of Extreme Coughing (there are more germs going round here at the moment than sheep in New Zealand!) over a pint of orange and a packet of crisps. Good fun! It was kind of weird though. As soon as urs truly had booted up the laptop, a bunch of folks grabbed seats to the back of the room muttering about Ubuntu cds and wifi. Sounds like Linux is all over Dublin like a rash. A very nice rash of course!