Ugliest… repository… conversion… ever | Armed and Dangerous

Imagine a version-control history going back to 1985 – yes, twenty-nine years of continuous development by no fewer than 579 people. Imagine geologic strata left by no fewer than five version-control systems – RCS, CVS, Arch, bzr, and git. The older portions of the history are a mess, with incomplete changeset coalescence in the formerly-CVS parts and crap like paths prefixed with ”=” to mark RCS masters of deleted files. There are hundreds of dead tags and dozens of dead branches. Comments and changelogs are rife with commit-reference cookies that no longer make sense in the view through more modern version-control systems.


You might very well wonder what could make a repository conversion worth that kind of investment of time and effort. That’s a good question, and one of those for which you either have enough cultural context that a one-word answer will suffice or else hundreds of words of explanation wouldn’t be enough.

The one word is: Emacs.