I’ve been involved in the git project for some time now, and through the years I’ve had to work with other DSCMs, like mercurial and monotone. Not really as a user, but investigating the inner workings of them, mostly for conversion purposes, and I’ve written tools that nobody used, like mtn2git, or pidgin-git-import, but eventually I decided; why not write something that everybody can use?
So, I present to you git-remote-hg, and git-remote-bzr. What do they do?
git clone "hg::http://selenic.com/repo/hello" git clone "bzr::lp:gnuhello"
That’s right, you can clone both mercurial and bazaar repositories now with little to no effort.
The original repository will be tracked like any git repository:
% git remote show origin * remote origin Fetch URL: hg::http://selenic.com/repo/hello Push URL: hg::http://selenic.com/repo/hello HEAD branch: master Remote branches:hg and mercurial. branches/default tracked master tracked Local branch configured for 'git pull': master merges with remote master Local ref configured for 'git push': master pushes to master (create)
You can pull, and in fact push as well. Actually, you wouldn’t even notice that this remote is not a git repository. You can create and push new branches… everything.
You might be thinking that this code being so new might have many issues, and you might screw up a mercurial repository. While that is true to some extent, there’s already a project that tries to act as a bridge between mercurial and git: hg-git. This project has a long history, and a lot of people use it successfully. So, I took their test framework, cleaned it up, and used to test my git-remote-hg code. Eventually all the tests passed, and I cloned big mercurial repositories without any issue, and the result were exact replicas, and I know that because the SHA-1’s were the same 🙂
So you can even keep working on top of clones you have created with hg-git, and switch back and forth between git-remote-hg and hg-git as you wish. The advantage over hg-git, is that you don’t need to use the mercurial interface at all, you can use git 🙂
To enable the hg-git compatibility mode you would need this:
% git config --global remote-hg.hg-git-compat true
What about the others?
Surely I must not be the first one try something this cool, right? I don’t want to dwell into all the details why none of the other tools suited my needs, but let’s give a quick look:
It’s for mercurial, not git. So you need to use it through the mercurial UI.
This is a very nice tool, but only allows you to export stuff (fetch an hg repo), and you have to manually run the ‘git fast-import’ command, setup the marks, and so on. Also, it’s not very well maintained.
It needs hg-git.
Yet another git-remote-hg
You need quite a lot of patches on top of git, so your vanilla version of git is not going to cut it. In addition to that it doesn’t support as many features; no tags, no bookmarks. Plus it fails all my extensive tests for git-remote-hg.
It needs separate tools, such as ‘hg convert’, and fast-export, and it doesn’t use remote helper infrastructure, so it’s not transparent: you have to run git-hg clone, git-hg fetch, and so on.
It needs hg-git, and doesn’t use git’s remote helper infrastructure either: you have to do git hg-clone, git hg-pull, etc.
There might be others, but you get the point.
The situation in bazaar is not much better, but I’m not going to bother listing the tools.
In fact, you can push and pull from and to mercurial and bazaar 🙂
% git remote -v bzr bzr::lp:~felipec/+junk/test (fetch) bzr bzr::lp:~felipec/+junk/test (push) gh gh:felipec/test.git (fetch) gh gh:felipec/test.git (push) hg hg::bb+ssh://felipec/test (fetch) hg hg::bb+ssh://felipec/test (push)
Isn’t that cool?
So, are there any drawbacks? Surely some information must be lost.
Nope, not really. At least not when using the hg-git compat mode, because all the extra information is saved in the commit messages.
Update: I forgot to mention the only bidirectionality problem: octopus merges. In git a merge can have any number of parent commits, but in mercurial only two are allowed. So you might have problem converting from a git repository to a mercurial one. It’s the only feature that hg-git has, that git-remote-hg doesn’t. As for bazaar, it also allows multiple parents, so it should work fine, but this hasn’t been thoroughly tested.
The only consideration is that in the case of mercurial branches are quite different from git branches, so you need to be really careful to get the behavior you want, which is why it’s best to just ignore mercurial branches, and use bookmarks instead. When you create git branches and push them to mercurial, bookmarks will be created on whatever branch is current.
Trying it out
Soon they might be merged into upstream git, so they would be distributed as other contrib scripts (e.g. /usr/share/git), and eventually possibly enabled by default. They were distributed as other contrib scripts, and they were going to be enabled by default, until the maintainer decided not to, for no reason at all.