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jj init — Sympolymathesy, by Chris Krycho

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses Jujutsu, a new version control system developed by a software engineer at Google, which aims to improve upon the shortcomings of existing systems like Git. It covers Jujutsu's key features, its approach to version control, and how it compares to Git in terms of user experience and underlying design.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Jujutsu Overview

1. What are the key features and design choices of Jujutsu?

  • Jujutsu introduces a new approach to version control, focusing on "changes" rather than "commits" as the fundamental unit.
  • It has a more intuitive and usable command-line interface compared to Git, with a functional language for describing and manipulating revisions.
  • Jujutsu has first-class support for conflicts, allowing them to be incorporated into the commit history and resolved incrementally.
  • It provides a smooth on-ramp for existing Git users, allowing Jujutsu to be used with existing Git repositories.

2. How does Jujutsu's approach to branches and history differ from Git?

  • Jujutsu defaults to anonymous branches, with the ability to create named branches as needed.
  • It has a more flexible model for manipulating the commit history, including the ability to insert new changes at arbitrary points.
  • Jujutsu treats the working copy as a "change" rather than using Git's index, simplifying certain workflows.

3. What are the current limitations and rough edges of Jujutsu compared to Git?

  • Lack of a mature ecosystem of supporting tools, compared to the extensive Git tooling.
  • Some friction when interoperating with Git-centric forges like GitHub, which expect the Git model.
  • The native Jujutsu backend is not yet ready for production use, so the Git backend is the only viable option currently.

[02] Jujutsu Adoption and Future

1. What is the current state of Jujutsu's adoption and future prospects?

  • Jujutsu is being actively developed at Google as a replacement for their internal version control systems.
  • The author has been using Jujutsu exclusively for the past 7 months on personal and open-source projects, and recommends it for individual or team use.
  • While not yet ready for enterprise-scale deployment, the author is optimistic about Jujutsu's future as it continues to mature and develop a stronger ecosystem.

2. What are the key milestones or developments the author is looking forward to with Jujutsu?

  • The release of a production-ready native Jujutsu backend, which could unlock additional capabilities beyond the current Git integration.
  • The development of dedicated Jujutsu tooling, such as GUI clients and IDE integrations, to improve the user experience.


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