Bazaar as interface to Subversion repositories (was: Echoing a post: bzr vs. git)

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Sat Nov 1 00:32:58 GMT 2008

Russel Winder <russel.winder at> writes:

> I wanted to point out that that most of my work is currently on
> projects where a Subversion repository is the master copy. Jelmer
> has put in a lot of work and made sterling progress in making Bazaar
> a viable tool for working with Subversion repositories where
> Subversion is the master and not just a place to hold a Bazaar
> branch (which to be honest is not really a relevant use case for any
> of my projects).

Thanks for writing this. Until I saw this it wasn't clear to me just
what bothered me about ‘bzr-svn’, but now I can put it into words:

When I hear of the existence of a plug-in for Bazaar that lets it
intorface with Subversion, there is *no* hint in my mind that this
will let me put a Bazaar repository inside a Subversion repository and
then primarily use that repository with Bazaar as the client.

If that were my use case, why would I need to put the repository into
Subversion at all? The ease of setting up a Bazaar repository without
administrative intervention makes the idea of using Subversion as the
back-end seem masochistic at best; so much so that it doesn't even
occur to me that a plug-in would be specifically written to do it.

That ‘bzr-svn’ can import branches from Subversion into a Bazaar
repository is great, and clearly useful to anyone seeking to migrate
from a Subversion repository. A plug-in that was one-way like that
might be called ‘bzr-svn-import’.

But I would have expected the number of people in Russel's situation,
and mine — that of encountering an existing Subversion repository and
wanting to use Bazaar as an interface to it — to be much more common
than those who want to store *new* Bazaar repositories in Subversion
without regard for other Subversion users.

Not to impugn the obviously effective work represented in the
‘bzr-svn’ code; but I think a lot of the problems I see people
discussion about this plug-in would be ameliorated if it were *named*
differently, so that the fact it was never targeted for these use
cases at all is abundantly clear. Of course, it's too late to expect
its name to change now, but hopefully this goes some way to explaining
why we seem to be disappointed in the plug-in as it is.

 \            “If you continue running Windows, your system may become |
  `\        unstable.” —Microsoft, Windows 95 bluescreen error message |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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