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[Arx-users] Why not ArX?

From: Kevin Smith
Subject: [Arx-users] Why not ArX?
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 22:52:27 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8 (X11/20040916)


Recently, I asked myself: Why isn't ArX getting much attention?

Here's the background behind that question: I am completely sold on the concept of distributed version control, so I have been researching and experimenting for about a year now. I have evaluated (to varying depths): arch, ArX, monotone, darcs, codeville, and archipel.

Of those, ArX and monotone seem the most promising for my own projects. Both are in C++. ArX is substantially more stable. Yet monotone seems to have a much more active discussion list, and seems to have several active code contributors. That seems odd.

My first thought was that people might be ignoring ArX because they believe it is merely a pale fork of arch (which it clearly is not). But when I did a little research, I see that ArX is simply flying under the radar. The following pages include lists of distributed version control systems:

None of them mention ArX (except the last one, where it is mentioned in the arch paragraph). There are probably other similar lists out there. There are also prominent articles like these that omit ArX:

And there are some relevant blogs:

So now I'm thinking that the biggest reason people aren't joining the ArX community in larger numbers is that ArX is a hard project to find out about. Monotone has had strong buzz for a while, as has arch. Even darcs hit the spotlight recently with its 1.0 release.

Is it time to crank up an ArX marketing machine? Would it be better to wait a bit for the 2.x series to mature a little more?

Unfortunately, since deciding to evalutate ArX a few weeks ago, I haven't actually been able to use it on real tasks. So although I still hope ArX turns out to be as good as it looks, I'm not yet in a position where I can publicly state that it's a great tool.

However, I would be very willing to help raise awareness of ArX. Here are some concrete marketing tasks that might increase ArX adoption, and some of which I would be willing to help with:

- Submit ArX to the maintainers of pages like those mentioned above
- Submit release news items to
- Create .rpm .deb and gentoo ebuilds
- Write articles for lwn, newsforge, etc
- Make the ArX home page prettier
- Port ArX to MS Windows (and Mac OS X)


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