I really haven’t understood the whole distributed version control thing, and I still believe that for a non open source project, it is probably overkill (unless you have a lot of people working on the project). Having your own repository is great, there are far too many times I hear about the fear of having a ton of uncommitted code due to the fact that it is in some experimental phase and yet the programmer didn’t feel that a branch or tag was worth the bother. However my true epiphany came last night, as I was playing with John Boxall’s iBug (allowing some level of remote debugging on the iphone).
It was horribly broken due to the rapidly changing nature of node.js, so I spent 15 minutes or so getting it working. Normally that would be the end of it - oh I might have sent an email in the past to the author, and a patchfile to fix their code but in something that appears to be abandoned like this I doubt anything would come of it. But since the code was on github, I just forked it and pushed my fixes to my fork. Brilliant! I can see this being a nightmare for popular projects, but for something nice and small like this it was a revelation. And now there is a working version of ibug online, and I can also add new functionality to it as I please!