Decentralised version control system eases management of Distributed, out-sourced or open source development projects
LONDON, December 14, 2007 -- Canonical Ltd., the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu and Bazaar projects, today announced the general availability of Bazaar 1.0, a version control system enabling multiple, distributed developers to contribute to software projects independently in a controlled, managed way.
"Bazaar is designed for global teams of collaborating developers," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project. "A large open source project like Ubuntu requires an extremely intuitive, robust and flexible version control system to accommodate hundreds of people working on shared code. But distributed software engineering is not limited to the open source world: corporate and proprietary software development is increasingly done by teams that span companies, continents and timezones and need the ability to manage their work in an efficient distributed fashion."
Traditional centralised version control systems are designed for closed development teams that have local network access to the main code base and can be managed centrally. This model does not work well for outsourced software development, or for development that is spread across multiple locations within the same company. Bazaar supports a more distributed, disconnected style of development, with teams working at their own pace sharing their changes and integrating the work of other teams spread around the world. Bazaar has been used successfully by commercial projects with hundreds of developers spanning multiple continents. The benefits of distributed version control can also apply to small teams as well as teams that are co-located - Bazaar can eliminate the need to manage a central version control server for small workgroups.
Bazaar is available under the GPL, or commercial terms for integration into third-party commercial products. Canonical also provides support for companies that adopt the tool.
Bazaar is distinguished by being:
- Easy to learn and use: Software developers become productive quickly with Bazaar, regardless of previous experience. Bazaar provides a straightforward command-line UI, a graphical interface, and integration with popular developer tools such as Eclipse.
- Extensible: More than 20 Bazaar plugins extend it with new commands and features, connect it to other systems, through a stable Python API.
- Easily deployable: No dedicated server is needed, just FTP access to a web server. Bazaar also supports traditional centralised development for teams that prefer that style of collaboration.
- Fast: Developers can commit their code locally any time so they are less dependent on coordination with the central code base. Bazaar encourages development of features and fixes in independent branches which can be merged into the main line of development at any time.
- Robust: Renaming of files and directories (vital to the the development process) is handled perfectly. Text or naming conflicts are flagged and resolved without data loss.
- Adaptive: Bazaar adapts to fit the needs and work patterns of a team, whether they are working closely or as distributed individuals. Bazaar facilitates agile practices including pairing, code review, and continuous integration.
- Supported: Support for Bazaar is available from Canonical's highly rated commercial support service, and from the Bazaar community itself. Bazaar is compatible with GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OS X or any system which runs Python 2.4 or above.
There are already more than 50 open source projects using Bazaar in its pre-release version. There are also numerous large private development projects that are using Bazaar in distributed projects.
Projects can host public Bazaar branches in Launchpad, Canonical's free code hosting service.
“Bazaar is designed to support models of collaboration that have emerged since the Internet came to dominate software development practices,” said Martin Pool, project leader of Bazaar. “We set ourselves the challenge of creating a tool that open source developers will love to use, and have been delighted with the reception Bazaar is getting in both the commercial and free software communities.”