darcs on pair.com

Shared hosting is starting to feel pretty quaint in the face of cheap and easy virtualization, but I still have some clients who use it. While doing some maintenance work today on one client’s Pair.com account, I started to twitch when I realized I was about to make some changes without using version control. I checked for Bazaar, Mercurial, and darcs command-line binaries; only darcs was installed, luckily a fairly recent version (1.0.8). Problem solved.

(I could have also created a local Subversion repo – I discovered they have a recent version of svn as well.)

This little episode also reminded me that version control has become integral to my work and that it wasn’t always so. I’m embarassed to even think about how many years I spent doing web development with nothing more sophisticated than local mirrors and manual backups. One of the deficiencies of my enjoyable but spotty CS studies in the late ’80s was that version control wasn’t even mentioned as a concept, let alone emphasized. Too bad – there was this newfangled thing called RCS back then. Wheeze, gasp.

Bryan commented on Sat Oct 13 00:17:41 2007:

Thanks for pointing that out. They have a current version of git installed too!

Paul commented on Wed Jan 16 11:58:33 2008:

After working with darcs for a while I ended up installing Mercurial on the account – darcs was periodically throwing permissions errors that I didn’t have time to sort out. Knock on wood, no issues with Mercurial so far.