Last updated: November 13, 2019
Mercurial Source Control: Which Hosting Provider Supports It Best?
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What is Mercurial
Mercurial is a distributed source control management tool for developers. Designed to handle projects of any size, it offers an intuitive interface and is easy to learn.
Better yet, it’s is free, and an ideal solution for anyone using versioned files. This open source distributed version control system was initially designed for larger projects, which seemingly puts it outside the scope of designers and independent web developers.
However, Mercurial has branched from there. Today, small development teams, designers, and web developers have embraced its extreme speed and have embraced the effort by the creators to build this software with the most important feature being performance.
In fact, the focus on performance is so important that in no accident, the very name “mercurial” is an adjective that is defined by Merriam-Webster as “having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or to the influence of the planet Mercury” and “characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood.”
It’s a bit of a misnomer as Mercurial is actually very controlled and quick, but could hardly be called unpredictable.
A Powerful Source Control Option
Source control, or version control, monitors the changes made to a file or set of files. Developers and web designers might use source control to access earlier versions of projects and revert to them if necessary. Traditional source control uses a client-server architecture, and one central server for storing project revisions.
Distributed source control, like Mercurial, gives each developer a local copy of the whole project history.
The difference lies in the systems’ efficiency.
With a traditional program, developers risk overwriting each other’s work, because they only have snapshots of the most recent version. A distributed system allows every developer to view the entire repository.