As you may have noticed, CodePlex now supports Mercurial as the source control. Mercurial is a free and distributed version control system. It’s currently gaining a high momentum that big projects like Mozilla, OpenSolaris, OpenOffice.org, Symbian OS, and many others are now using it. Aside from CodePlex, other project hosting sites like Google Code, bitbucket, and SourceForge also offer Mercurial support.
Setting Up Mercurial on CodePlex
If you’re starting a new project, CodePlex will give you the option to use Mercurial as your version control system. For existing projects, unfortunately, you cannot switch to Mercurial by yourself. Instead, if you are a project owner, you can contact CodePlex using the contact form and tell your intention to switch to Mercurial. Ensure that you’re logged in when doing this and mention your project name, user name, and the email address associated to your user name.
For me, it took less than 24 hours before CodePlex responded to my request and LiquidSilver had been migrated to Mercurial. All the versions and labels were intact and I could clone the repository successfully. Thanks, CodePlex.
If you are just starting and not familiar with Mercurial or any DVCS in general, it can be confusing at first since the concept is different. Fortunately, Joel Spolsky has composed a wonderful tutorial site called Hg Init that can very quickly and greatly help you understand DVCS or Mercurial in particular. I highly recommend you to visit it. You can also learn Mercurial from its official learning site or the book.
Although you can use Mercurial entirely from the command line interface, you may find it easier or more comfortable to use TortoiseHg that provides a friendly and familiar (if you have used TortoiseCVS or TortoiseSVN before) interface for Windows users.
Visual Studio users can benefit from VisualHG, a Visual Studio extension that can give you real-time visual status updates on your files from within the Visual Studio Solution Explorer window. VisualHG depends on TortoiseHg to execute the Mercurial commands.
Now, have fun with Mercurial.