Forecasting the end of a tool’s utility is valuable, as accurate predictions enable timely migration to a new toolset. The field of available software development tools is very dynamic. Development tools encompass a variety of components used to build and deploy software, including programming languages and compilers, revision control and software configuration management, defect tracking, & integrated development environments. Version control system (VCS) tools are used to manage revisions and changes to program code and tools. Open source software is increasing in prevalence within enterprises.
The following review was prepared from a Wikipedia article comparing different VCS tools. (“Comparison of revision control software,” 2009) The forecasts of open source VCS toolsets’ future lifecycles are projected using one of three ratings: strong, limited, or defunct. Strong tools have active development and increasing popularity. Limited tools have either limited development, marginal differentiation with more popular tools, or limited popularity. Defunct tools have no active development, declining popularity or some similar indicator of a limited future. Software popularity is based on data from the CIA.vc web site, which bills itself as “The open source version control informant.” (Dowty, 2007; VCS popularity according to CIA.vc,” 2007) Results of the analysis are shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Forecast of open source VCS futures
|Subversion||Strong||Most popular open source SCM tool||http://subversion.tigris.org/|
|SVK||Limited||Builds additional features on top of subversion’s filesystem, limited usage||http://svk.bestpractical.com/view/HomePage|
|Codeville||Defunct||website non-functional as of 10/25/2009||http://www.codeville.org|
|Bazaar||Limited||Growing popularity, middle of the pack||http://bazaar-vcs.org/en/|
|Codendi||Limited||Open source project backed by Xerox||http://www.codendi.com/index_en.php|
|CVS||Limited||Second most popular open source SCM tool, but subversion is largely replacing CVS||http://ximbiot.com/cvs/|
|darcs||Limited||Not very popular||http://darcs.net/|
|Fossil||Limited||Single developer, web site has section devoted to answering “criticisms,” which is not a good sign||http://www.fossil-scm.org|
|Git||Strong||Version control system used for Linux kernel development, gaining in popularity||http://git-scm.com/|
|GNU arch||Defunct||Very low popularity||http://www.gnu.org/software/gnu-arch/|
Comparison of revision control software. (2009, 10/16/2009). Retrieved 10/25/2009, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Comparison_of_revision_control_software&oldid=320265064
Dowty, M. (2007). CIA.vc: The open source version control informant., from http://cia.vc
VCS popularity according to CIA.vc. (2007). from http://www.swivel.com/data_sets/show/1004901