InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source development tools of 2011
A long time ago, Linus Torvalds and the rest of the kernel hackers looked at CVS and found it wanting. They were finding it more and more difficult to merge the work from disparate trees into one cohesive pile of code. One developer was heading left, another was going right, a third was going straight ahead, and yet one more was going nowhere at all. Multiple branches were driving the kernel developers nuts. Git was designed to handle complex teams like this.
Git is like CVS, but it changes the political model by making every repository its own fiefdom. There's no central hub, which means each hub is the center of its activity.
The Git developers then created commands for comparing and merging any two repositories so that any pair of vassals could compare and merge their code without asking permission of the central authority.
This model seemed to explode this year, no doubt helped by hosting companies like GitHub. Suddenly people weren't creating CVS projects on their server, but simply dropping Git repositories all over their disks. Then they would push and pull code between them. Power to the coders!
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source application development software," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development and open source at InfoWorld.com.