Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bazaar 1.0: not just a number

I've been working on Bazaar since before it started. Back before Martin had started coding Bazaar, I worked on an implementation of the same ideas (as I understood them), called "BaZing". Now, more than 2.5 years later, we've finally reached 1.0.

In a sense, these numbers are arbitrary. Bazaar has been usable for many years, depending on your needs. So to us, 1.0 is a signal that says "Hey, look at us. We're ready for you." It's a number we could choose to use at any time. We've chosen to use it now, but that doesn't mean it's meaningless.

The act of declaring 1.0 meant that several people pushed back hard. We have a new storage format called "packs". It's safer and faster, and almost lockless. People said we weren't ready until our new, faster, safer format was the default. They said we couldn't reasonably expect people to benchmark a non-default format. They were right. So Robert Collins pushed hard on getting "packs" up to scratch, and we delayed the release until they were ready.

Meanwhile, for me, 1.0 meant I decided I should fix some problems that I'd known about for a while, but had never been enthusiastic about fixing: problems with case-insensitive (or case-preserving) filesystems. Bazaar can now detect case-insensitive filesystems and avoid trying to create files whose names differ only in case.

Others also put work into solving the kind of bugs that give bad first impressions.

Originally, this release was called "0.93". But if we'd released it that way, it would have been a completely different release. We may not have done everything we wanted to do, but I'm proud of Bazaar 1.0.