The Microsoft CodePlex.com team has donated $25,000 to the Mercurial project, responding to the recent appeal by the project leader, Matt Mackall. Earlier this year we added Mercurial as a choice on CodePlex to provide an option to our users to use a distributed version control system. Since then, there have been over 1,500 new projects using Mercurial, as well as numerous projects that have migrated from other forges to CodePlex.com.
While Team Foundation Server is still the most used version control system on CodePlex, our users are clearly benefiting from having access to Mercurial for their open source projects. The CodePlex team is happy to be able to offer our community of more than 17,000 projects a choice. With Mercurial as an important feature of CodePlex, we are excited to be making this donation to help support the Mercurial project.
We asked Matt Mackall some questions to share a little bit more about Mercurial, and why he decided to make it his day job:
What is the Mercurial project, and how have you been involved?
Matt: Mercurial is an open source distributed version control system. I started the Mercurial project a little over five years ago and have been the project leader ever since. It's now an active community project with hundreds of contributors and tens of thousands of users.
What has Microsoft’s relationship been with the Mercurial project until now?
Matt: Microsoft has been supporting users of Mercurial in the Windows world through its CodePlex.com platform, which gives users the option of hosting their projects using Mercurial.
What does the donation mean for you, and the community, and how will it be used?
Matt: The donation is going to help fund my work as a full-time project leader over the next year. Up to this point, I've worked on Mercurial mostly in my spare time, which has meant that Mercurial has not progressed as fast as it might have. By making Mercurial my primary focus, I will hopefully be able to better leverage the community's contributions and accelerate Mercurial's development.
Where to from here? What's next for Mercurial, and what long term goals do you have for it?
Matt: Always a tough question with a community-driven project - we never know what feature is going to be finished next. But we're making progress on some of our long-standing wishlist features like improved compression and faster networking, so expect good things in upcoming releases.