Canonical's GNU Bazaar

Although the UK company Canonical is best known for sponsoring the development of the Ubuntu distro, it is also behind some other smaller projects. One such is the Bazaar version control software:

a distributed version control system that Just Works and adapts to the workflows you want to use. Bazaar is:

Friendly. Distributed version control doesn't need to be complex. Bazaar is Distributed Version Control for Human Beings. Bazaar has a natural feel because we focus on usability, particularly task efficiency.

Smart. Bazaar has perfect support for renaming files AND directories. This means developers can refactor without holding back because of fear of merging. It also means you can unleash your community and merge efficiently even from contributors who are radically restructuring the tree.

Fast. Almost every open source project can get the advanced features of Bazaar without slowing down its developers. See our impressive benchmark results across a wide range of open source projects.

Efficient. Bazaar's default storage format is highly efficient, clearly better than its main competitors according to our disk space benchmarks.

Lightweight. No dedicated server with Bazaar installed is needed, just FTP access to a web server. A smart server is available for those requiring additional performance or security but it is not required in many cases - Bazaar 1.x over plain http performs well.

Canonical has just announced that Bazaar is now officially part of the GNU project:

This decision was taken after consultation with some of the core Bazaar developers, Canonical management, and Richard Stallman, leader of the GNU project.

If we can help other GNU projects, by extending Bazaar to meet their needs or in other ways we will. Over time we will come into more compliance with the GNU technical and process standards, by sending patches through the regular review process. Our review process, and licence will remain the same, and copyright will still be held by Canonical under the current agreement with contributors.

This is likely to encourage the use of Bazaar more widely alongside established projects such as Subversion, Git and Mercurial. Above all, it gives companies and coders yet more choice, and allows them to use software that best suits their needs.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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