Tech

BitBucket Kills Mercurial Support As Git Remains Developers’ Favorite

BitBucket has officially announced that it is going to end Mercurial support from Bitbucket Cloud and its API. All Mercurial features and repositories will be removed from the platform on June 1, 2020.

When BitBucket was launched in 2008, it initially supported Mercurial repositories only. But that changed slowly and by 2012, the software-hosting service started comparing the merits of Mercurial and Git — the other dominant version control system.

End of Mercurial on BitBucket

In less than a year from now, BitBucket will remove all traces of Mercurial from its servers and repos. Starting February 1, 2020, BitBucket users will no longer be able to create new Mercurial repos.

However, the current Mercurial functionality in Bitbucket will be available through May 31, 2020.

Denise Chan, senior product marketing manager for Bitbucket said that “Git adoption has grown over the years to become the default system.” This has resulted in a slow death for Mercurial.

Declining usage of Mercurial

According to a Stack Overflow Developer Survey, almost 90% of developers use Git, while Mercurial is the least popular version control system with only about 3% developer adoption.

It is to be noted that Mercurial is still used at companies like Facebook, Google, and Mozilla. But as far as Mercurial usage on Bitbucket is concerned, it is steadily declining, and the percentage of new Bitbucket users choosing Mercurial has dropped to less than 1%.

Moreover, the technical burden of providing support for two version control systems is also an issue.

It’s not just the amount of extra effort required in maintaining the two systems, the repository platform is also worried that dividing its attention between Mercurial and Git could harm the quality of service it provides.

Besides, BitBucket isn’t the only one to ditch Mercurial for Git. The OpenJDK project is also shifting to Git.

According to Oracle, the reasons behind the shift includes reduction of the size of version control metadata, the larger set of development tools that come with Git support and more number of options for hosting Git repositories.

What would happen to the Mercurial repos?

Chan gave simple advice to developers using Mercurial: either hop on the Git train or just import your Mercurial repos and shove it somewhere else.

She suggested: “teams [to] migrate their existing Mercurial repos to Git,” pointing towards Git conversion tools in the market, such as hg-fast-export and hg-git mercurial plugin.

Some developers aren’t amused

BitBucket’s latest decision to banish Mercurial didn’t go down well with some developers who took to Twitter to express their disappointment:

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