Dirkjan Ochtman: writing

Giving in to Git(Hub)

Published on 2014-03-30 by Dirkjan Ochtman in tech, code

Last month, I moved most of my code from Bitbucket to GitHub:

As a former Mercurial developer, this feels like an admission of defeat. Most of hg's user interface still seems superior to Git's, even if Git was quicker to get the branching model right. The Mercurial code base, in many ways, is a testament to how approachable a Python application can be, and the extension possibilities stemming from writing a few Python functions seem far more attractive than Git's apparent hodge-podge of C, shell and Perl. It's good that people at Mozilla and Facebook are starting to talk more about hg's advantages, though.

While I wanted to learn Git sooner, the lack of usability made me mostly avoid it until about 8 months ago, when I became a CouchDB committer and thus could no longer escape. Two months ago, I also got a new job where Git is the primary VCS, so I've been diving in. Obviously, it's a pretty great VCS, but some aspects of the (command-line) user interface are still baffling to me. This has been written about in plenty of places, so I won't go point-to-point here. And I'll have to admit that many commands are starting to be ingrained in muscle memory, to the point that I sometimes use Git-like commands in places where I use still hg.

However, now that I have basic usage down such that my lack of experience with Git is no longer a limiting factor, the network effect values from Git (and GitHub, specifically) outweigh my usability concerns. The GitHub UX feels more polished (and seems to receive more attention) than Bitbucket's, and makes me quite happy to use it. I also feel that the community on GitHub is quite a bit larger than on Bitbucket, which could make my projects more accessible (see also this account from Eli Bendersky). I've already gathered some stars (mostly for Persona-TOTP, so far) over the past six weeks; I hope that's just the start.