Is mercurial dying?

Is it me, or has Mercurial well and truly lost the race against git? 

A couple of things make me think that mercurial is no longer a particularly viable option. Firstly, I’m only really hearing about development on git, and particularly on GitHub. I regularly hear things like “I just pushed TCP support for <package X> to GitHub” but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a similar “<package X> just got it’s tests fixed on BitBucket.” Maybe this is because I’m looking at a lot of JavaScript projects and not looking at Python projects, but it definitely seems that all the cool kids are on Github. 

Second, I just did a very quick scan for git and mercurial integration for Visual Studio. Microsoft are releasing a git extension in their next service pack (Visual Studio 2012 Update 2). Mercurial integration packages like VisualHG aren’t even compatible with Visual Studio 2012.

The disappointing thing here is that GitHub’s policy on private repos is so much tighter than BitBucket. In BitBucket, I get unlimited free private mercurial and git repos. In GitHub I have to pay to get any. I understand why GitHub needs to charge. Of course I do. It’s just that I’ve been avoiding Github because I have a lot of stuff that’s not fit for public consumption but which I want under source control.

Ah, well. First-world problem.

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6 thoughts on “Is mercurial dying?

  1. Mercurial is definitely not dying. Git has gained a lot of traction in the last few year. But this having Git market share raising does not means that Mercurial is dying. The increases of Git market share means more and more people moving away from centralized version control. That’s a good news overall.

    Mercurial development is still very active and a lot of innovation happen there and the amount of people payed in their day job to work on Mercurial as raised. There are big project and company that successfully switched to Mercurial recently (sometimes from Git).

    • What sorts of development are we talking about? I’m primarily following things using Javascript and C#, and those all seem to be on GitHub. I think there must be technology ecosystems built up around Hg, but I’m not sure what those are…

  2. Having just finished an introductory book on Mercurial I *might* not be completely objective 😉 but I doubt Mercurial will be dying soon, just because of its user-friendly UI that makes it an ideal next step for Subversion users (which has still probably around 50% market-share in the world).

    Even with a well-designed and simple UI, Mercurial is also a very powerful tool and I would say that for most users it is 99% equivalent to Git.

    Last point will be its potential of evolution; see this recent article: http://gregoryszorc.com/blog/2013/05/12/thoughts-on-mercurial-%28and-git%29/.

    BTW, my company’s official SCM is Mercurial but our free software projects or contributions are hosted on… Github 🙂 so I wrote this little Howto on how to use Mercurial with a Github repository: http://cmuller.github.io/ if you need to interact with Github projects but would like to stick to Mercurial, it is possible.

    Cheers,
    Christophe.

  3. Having just finished an introductory book on Mercurial I *might* not be completely objective 😉 but I doubt Mercurial will be dying soon, just because of its user-friendly UI that makes it an ideal next step for Subversion users (which has still probably around 50% market-share in the world).

    Even with a well-designed and simple UI, Mercurial is also a very powerful tool and I would say that for most users it is 99% equivalent to Git.

    Last point will be its potential of evolution; see this recent article: http://gregoryszorc.com/blog/2013/05/12/thoughts-on-mercurial-%28and-git%29/.

    BTW, my company’s official SCM is Mercurial but our free software projects or contributions are hosted on… Github 🙂 so I wrote this little Howto on how to use Mercurial with a Github repository: http://cmuller.github.io/ if you need to interact with Github projects but would like to stick to Mercurial, it is possible.

    Cheers,
    Christophe.

  4. I too use Mercurial for most of my projects. But I still have legacy code on Subversion and also use Git on a few projects. It would be interesting to see if each of these favor particular languages. I know most of my Sorceforge stuff is C/C++ and PHP. My Bitbuck stuff is C++/PHP/Python and Octave. My Github stuff is Java/Python/Lisp/Haskel…. Not sure how it turned out that way. Probably was a choice of who I was working with at the time or what recent article I read at the time, or perhaps, just my mood at the time….

    Do others also have projects scattered on multiple SMCs and if so, do you favor one SMC over another for a particular type of project of development language?

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