A Comparative Study on How SVN and Git Affect Software Changes Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nc580r156

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  • Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS) have seen an increase in popularity relative to traditional Centralized Version Control Systems (CVCS). Yet we know little on whether VCS tools meet the needs of software developers when managing software change or whether developers are benefitting from the extra power of DVCS. Without such knowledge, researchers, developers, tool builders, and team managers are in the danger of making wrong assumptions. In this paper we present the first in-depth, large scale empirical study that looks at the influence of DVCS on the practice of splitting, grouping, and committing changes. We recruited 820 participants for a survey that sheds light into the practice of using DVCS and interviewed 13 participants on the practice of managing and communicating software changes. We also analyzed 409M lines of code changed by 358300 commits, made by 5890 developers, in 132 repositories containing a total of 73M LOC. Using this data, we uncovered some interesting facts. For example, (i) commits made in distributed repositories were 32% smaller than the centralized ones, (ii) developers split commits more often in DVCS, (iii) DVCS commits are more likely to have references to issue tracking labels, and (iv) developers use both ad-hoc and structured methods in communicating finished changes.
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