is a comprehensive and efficient software solution aimed to cater to developers’ needs in distributed version control operations, tracking bugs, managing wiki information and technical notes for the programs they are creating; it is meant to make the entire process more accessible and less demanding.
Being a command-line utility, this would imply an added difficulty in using it, which is why users can also find GUI front-ends available, such as
. However, this may not offer full support for Fossil’s functions, only for the most important ones.
To get an understanding of what the tool is capable of, users can run the help command in a CMD window and obtain a brief enumeration of its functions. For the full list, users need to type ‘help -a’.
One of the main roles of Fossil consists of helping programmers track bugs for the software they are developing, which requires dealing with ‘tickets’ (or bug reports). These get stored separately from code check-ins, mainly to avoid clutter and allow them to be managed from a web interface.
Fossil supports the creation of wiki pages and other embedded documentation files with a WIKI extension. Similarly, users can produce, view and manage technical notes, like milestones, blog entries, process checkpoints, news articles and announcements.
Moreover, the utility does not make use of custom protocols for network communication, relying on HTTP and thus avoid problems with firewall restrictions or proxies; as a result it can even be used over dial-up connections, without much problem.
The ‘Autosync’ mode of Fossil ensures projects are continuously developing, all the while limited forking and merging operations. Content is stored in an SQLite database, making transactions atomic, with self-checks verifying project consistency of the repository.