Gitmongous Distributed Repositories

So it’s been a little while as I’ve been busy assisting my beautiful wife on some projects she’s had, I’ve been at the tail end of a working marathon and finally I was on vacation last week. However, I’ve got a bit of free time now and I wanted to share an interesting downside of distributed version control systems.

Sometimes, you’ll have team members who will carelessly deposit massive multi-megabyte files, they’ll alter it to store more multi-megabyte files. These files then duplicate everywhere and make merging insanely painful from the sheer size.

There are solutions to this problem, but it’s a multi-step process that involves a priest, a rabbi, a shaman, 6 shots of vodka and a jump rope.

With that said, this isn’t entirely the same problem in a remote version controlled repository like Subversion. If some unrelated branch has all of the megafiles, you’re not sitting there staring at the progress indicator, scrolling in a pattern that seems like an infinite loop when you have to clone the repository.

So while, it won’t change our decision on what we’re using, it’s good to know and handy to monitor carefully as it will impact all of your team’s productivity.

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