septiembre 17, 2020

250.000 endangered Mercurial repositories rescued!

When the popular Bitbucket code hosting platform decided to discontinue support for the Mercurial version control system, we announced that Software Heritage and Octobus were starting a collaboration to rescue and archive all 250.000 endangered public Mercurial repositories. This is a complex undertaking that requires deep expertise and involves various phases: rescuing all the repositories, checking for data integrity, and ingesting them in the Software Heritage Archive.

Rescue phase now completed, the data is safe…

We are delighted to announce that the rescue phase is now complete. The Octobus team brought to bear its deep knowledge of the Mercurial version control system and of the Bitbucket platform to retrieve all the relevant data, checked the integrity of all the endangered repositories, and made sure that no data would be lost.

… and is available right away! 

Before starting to work on ingesting these 250.000 repositories into the Software Heritage archive, we decided to make all the data available immediately: not only the repositories, but also all the other related data and metadata that could be rescued.

Yes, this means that if you just found out that your code disappeared from where you thought you safely stored it, you will be relieved, to be able to find a copy of it right away by browsing the raw Bitbucket mercurial archive that Octobus has set up on our infrastructure! 

And we are delighted to see that some of you found out already…


Looking ahead

Now that the rescue phase is completed, and that you can access already a raw dump of the repository, we can finally move to the next phase: Octobus will provide its expertise to significantly improve the current Mercurial loader, in order to ingest these 250.000 repositories in the Software Heritage Archive, This will take time and effort, but we’re confident we’ll succeed.

In the meanwhile, if you’re looking for a new home for that Mercurial based project that you thought you lost, you might want to look at the code hosting platform that the fine people at Octobus have developed for you.

Supporting our mission

We would like to take this occasion to say thanks again to the NLNet Foundation for sponsoring Octobus’ great work, contributing to preserve a part of the endangered software commons.

If you too want to contribute to this mission, you might like to know that donations of any size are welcome, and useful!

septiembre 17, 2020