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I'm writing an essay, and would like to have some empiric evidence, perhaps longitudinal data where the popularity of these technologies is compared over a period of some years.

Are there any statistics that show the popularity of Git versus SVN?

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google.com/trends/?q=git,svn . Not near perfect, because particularly "git" has other uses too, but all popularity measures are more or less BS anyway. –  Joonas Pulakka Feb 21 '12 at 11:47
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Defining popularity is tough. You could do something like this... –  Mr. S Feb 21 '12 at 11:54
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In addition, this graph indicates a much smaller decline in "svn" than is shown in "subversion". Also, the algorithm is detecting "subversion" as meaning "corruption" or "undermining loyalty" rather than the version control system. I'd suspect that "svn" is more appropriate to the development tool. –  Thomas Owens Feb 21 '12 at 12:06
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possible duplicate of Empirical Evidence of Popularity of Git and Mercurial –  Mark Booth Feb 21 '12 at 15:10
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@Mr.S adding git svn as a term would suggest that almost every page involved contains both so I thin kthis is still inconclusive –  jk. Feb 22 '12 at 12:11

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

To add to Jan's answer, Ohloh has been crawled (only) three times by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, but July 2011 is unreadable, so that gives three data sets including today (plus future edits):

August 2010

  • Git: 26,485 repositories (11.3% of total)
  • SVN: 25,336 repositories (10.8% of total)
  • SvnSync: 117,326 repositories (50.0% of total)

May 2011

  • Git: 116,224 repositories (35% of total)
  • SVN: 145,917 repositories (44% of total)

February 2012

  • Git: 124,000 repositories (26% of total)
  • SVN: 265,883 repositories (57% of total)

June 2012

  • Git: 134,459 repositories (27% of total)
  • SVN: 267,499 repositories (54% of total)

October 2013

  • Git: 238,648 repositories (38% of total)
  • SVN: 291,920 repositories (46% of total)

April 2014

  • Git: 247,103 repositories (37% of total)
  • SVN: 324,895 repositories (48% of total)

This appears to show that, of the open source repositories registered on Ohloh, there's been a huge growth in both Git and Subversion. Whereas they were about level in 2010, there were double the number of Subversion repositories in 2012 (...indexed by Ohloh), but Git is now catching up.

However, August 2010 has separate values for Subversion (25,336) and SvnSync (117,326). Later dates don't include SvnSync (a Subversion read-only mirroring tool), so it's fair to surmise the later Subversion figures also include the large SvnSync share, which may skew your conclusions.

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I think the svn v svnsync issue is more one of miscategorisation. svnsync is svn, the mirroring tool simply replays svn commits to make backups so there is no distinction between repositories. Its the same difference between using TortoiseSVN and svn command line. –  gbjbaanb Apr 23 at 7:47

Sites such as Ohloh and Github only give you an indication of what's going on in the open source world, and take no account of the (much larger) commercial/industrial/closed source side of things; Google Trends gives all sorts of other hits for "subversion" and "git" (both of which have other meanings outside the SCM world).

The best indicator you're likely to get at the moment is the Eclipse Community Survey. This is conducted every year by the Eclipse Foundation and since Eclipse users tend to be Java developers of all shapes and sizes, it targets a fairly representative cross-section of the software development community as a whole. The only problem is that Windows developers are probably under-represented, but nevertheless, it still gives a reasonable guide as to where things are at, and since it's been going for a few years now, you can start to see what trends are beginning to emerge.

Their figures for Git are:

  • 2009: 2.4%
  • 2010: 6.8%
  • 2011: 12.8%
  • 2012: 27.6%
  • 2013: 30.3%
  • 2014: 33.3%

For Subversion:

  • 2009: 57.5%
  • 2010: 58.3%
  • 2011: 51.3%
  • 2012: 46.0%
  • 2013: 37.8%
  • 2014: 30.7%

The 2012 survey report is due out in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, another data point we can consider is the growth of Github. Back in August, I observed that it had just under a million users, though I didn't record the exact figure. This has grown to 1,654,419 users as of the time of writing: an increase of at least 66% in 288 days, or about 90% a year. If we assume that the growth of Github is indicative of the rate of increase of Git usage industry-wide (a potentially dubious assumption: see comments below), that would suggest that Git adoption is currently somewhere between 20% and 25% industry-wide, and on course to overtake Subversion to the number 1 slot sometime in the next 12-18 months or so.

Update: the results of the 2012 Eclipse Community Survey give Git/Github a total market share of 27.6%. This is much more than I was expecting (I thought it would be low 20s at best) and means that it now almost certainly has significant penetration into corporate and enterprise environments. Subversion is still in the number 1 slot for now, but given these figures, I would be very surprised indeed if this remains the case this time next year.

Update: results have been added for the 2013 Eclipse Community Survey. Git is now at about equal usage with subversion (36.3% vs 37.8% respectively), and if the trend continues it will easily be in first place next year's survey results.

Update: The results of the 2014 Eclipse Community Survey show Git (33.3%) surpassing Subversion (30.7%) as expected from the trend in the previous year.

Sources:

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Github is very open source centric. I'm pretty sure that in industry usage, git will be below 10% for years to come. –  Michael Borgwardt May 30 '12 at 7:26
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Actually, I addressed that point in my answer here: that's why I pointed to the Eclipse Community Survey, since it represents a much wider cross section of the industry than just open source users. All the evidence that I can see indicates to me that in industry usage, Git passed the 10% mark about a year ago, and is still on the rise. –  jammycakes May 30 '12 at 11:58
    
yeah but then you extrapolate from that based on the github numbers - combining apples and oranges. We also seem to be using different definitions of "industry", yours being "all projects including open source" and mine "projects being run for profit by a company". –  Michael Borgwardt May 30 '12 at 13:20
    
Granted, there is an assumption there that Git growth will have been proportional to Github growth over the past year or so, but that's only a stopgap until the results of the next Eclipse Community Survey are published. It's a good point though: open source development is dominated by Git and Github -- but to what extent are Git and Github themselves dominated by open source? –  jammycakes May 30 '12 at 14:38
    
I've updated my answer to include the latest survey results. Given the new figures, I find it very hard to believe that Git usage in industry (even excluding open source) is anywhere near as low as 10% now. –  jammycakes Jun 8 '12 at 10:51

Further to my previous answer, there are some websites out there that track demand for skills among employers. These are a useful metric because they show exactly where things are at in corporate/enterprise settings, while disregarding the open source/hobbyist market (which can be pretty fanboyish at the best of times).

One example is http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/. Their statistics are as follows as of 18 June 2013 as compared with 18 June 2012:

(I wasn't able to find statistics for any other system e.g. CVS, SourceGear Vault etc.)

It appears that demand for Git is doubling approximately every 12-18 months and if present trends continue it will overtake Subversion round about the end of 2013 to become the most widely used source control software in corporate settings. Subversion apparently peaked about a year ago and is now gradually declining.

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alas, from my (anecdotal) view of looking for jobs, TFS2012 seems to have taken over completely. –  gbjbaanb Jun 18 '13 at 9:31
    
I'm actually fairly optimistic about TFS. TFS 2012 is a massive improvement over earlier versions (good riddance to those awful server workspaces and read-only files) and the next version of TFS will include Git support out of the box. The impression I get is that Git's growth is more likely to be at the expense of Subversion. –  jammycakes Jun 18 '13 at 10:38

I think ohloh has some relevance, but I am not sure you could pry historical data from them.

Also for some specific domain, see use of vcs for Debian packagin (you could be able to pry some historical data from UDD, but probably not very long, as the Vcs-* fields are not that old).

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