Stefano has written a great introspective post on his inner reactions to a Linus video on Git. It’s good to see people being more open minded about this. I’ve never understood the resistance to distributed version control, especially open source software development is itself an example of the success decentralization. Even the “social” argument that distributed version control would somehow destroy communities seems odd to me. This year at the OSCON Art of Community panel, Karl Fogel said that a tenet of the Subversion team is to avoid using technology to solve social problems. Yet insisting on a centralized version control system seems to me to be doing exactly that. I think its noteworthy that the Subversion team itself has a “hybrid distributed/centralized VC model” as a long term goal.
Centralization in open source projects is a “community smell” (think code smell). It’s best avoided.