I’ve been tracking the popularity of the leading VCS tools on Ubuntu for the last 4-5 months using popcon. While popcon is far from perfect, I feel the results are a useful data point, given the popularity of Linux among software developers and Ubuntu among Linux distributions.

Here are the summary results.

Tool 19-Oct-2009 15-Feb-2010 Growth
Subversion 247760 282789 14.1%
Git 77791 94441 21.3%
Mercurial 28271 36086 27.5%
Bazaar 39391 51667 31.0%

As expected, all 3 major DVCS tools are growing faster than Subversion in percentage terms. What’s more interesting to me is that Bazaar and Mercurial are growing faster than Git, despite the buzz Git is currently enjoying. As a Bazaar developer, that’s truly awesome news.

Why do I say that? Looking back over technology trends, clean-and-simple products frequently lose the early battle against faster-but-more-complex competitors, e.g. Python vs Perl, GNOME vs KDE. Eventually though, the less complex tools become fast enough and powerful enough to satisfy most needs and their adoption takes off. That’s not to say tools like Perl and KDE are bad. I love them both but find myself using Python and GNOME more frequently these days. In the DVCS marketplace, I’ve always expected Bazaar (and Mercurial) to eventually grow faster than Git. I’m just ecstatic that it seems to be happening already.