GNU Arch and Windows Services for UNIX 3.5

GNU Arch

From Ted Leung's recent post on 'tla', I found GNU Arch, a very flexible lightweight distributed revision control system.  Here is a list of its unique features:

  • distributed repositories — each hacker or group can host their own branches. There's a global (world wide) name-space for lines of development and revisions. Branches can be formed from any repository to any other and merge operations can span repository boundaries without needing to actually duplicate the full contents of a repository at each site.
  • advanced merging capabilities — 'arch' has support for various styles of history-sensitive branch merging. The way branches and patch-sets interact with distributed repositories makes it practical to distribute the responsibilities for patch-review and merging.
  • low barrier of entry — You can easily host repositories off an existing HTTP, FTP, SFTP or WebDAV server. In general, you need not even be able to execute commands on the server that you host your repository on. Some web space is enough. Together with the previous item, this means that everybody can easily publish their changes to other projects and make it _easy_ for the original maintainer to fold their changes back into the original tree.
  • renames handled — of course file and directory renames are handled accurately. So are symbolic links and file permissions.
  • unobtrusive operation — 'arch' is designed to stay out your way while making changes and rearranging files. It is designed to have a clean and self-documenting command-line interface having the finest characteristics of good Unix tools.
  • revision libraries — 'arch' includes tools for building a space efficient library of all past revisions, represented as ordinary file system trees.

Yummy!  Note that Arch 1.1 final was recently released and version 1.2 with extra security features are being worked on.

Windows Services for UNIX  3.5

While reading through Arch Wiki, I read that Arch can build and run under Windows Services for UNIX (SFU)  Hey, didn't I hear just a few days ago that SFU 3.5 is now available for free?  So I went over to SFU home page to check it out.  But I wasn't tempted to try it until I read this glowing review by Roberto J. Dohnert who hasn't had a good thing to say about Microsoft until SFU 3.5.  He wrote:

I have a colleague that runs his webserver with Windows 2000 Server with SFU 3.5 beta and Apache compiled for Interix and he has reported to me that he has had better performance than he did with Solaris and Apache.

I really had no negatives with SFU, which is weird because I can ussually find negatives in most software. It does whats advertised and then some. I never thought I would give a thumbs up to Microsoft, but there is a first time for everything.

Dang.  If that ain't a glowing review, I don't know what is.  If all goes well, I will be replacing Cygwin with SFU.  Hmm.  I wonder if I can run Gimp under SFU?


When you install SFU, you will note that some tools are missing.  For example, bash is not there.  Interop Systems has bash and other tools available for free download at their Tool Warehouse page.