6-Month Old Critical Performance Bug With SourceTree Is Getting Attention

Atlassian’s SourceTree is one of the nicer front-ends for version control systems Git and Mercurial. It’s also free and open-source, the double-whammy of great qualities one wants in a piece of software. Unfortunately, as of version 1.6, the Windows build of the program has been crippled by an issue that causes constant freezes. The bug was reported back in August 2014, but as of late January, has yet to be fixed.

As a user of SourceTree, 1.6.12 is unusable. Trying to do anything via the commit tree will present the dreaded spinning blue circle. If you wait a minute or two, you’ll usually be rewarded with an updated view and control of the program, but as you can understand, that’s unacceptable behaviour.

The only solution is to downgrade to 1.5.2, but that deprives you of various security patches and other improvements that have been introduced since this version.

When I went to investigate the 1.6 performance issue, I came across a blog post asking whether SourceTree for Windows had been abandoned. Abandoned is definitely too strong a word — the last major update was in August and the last maintenance patch in December — but it does point out that the bug myself and quite a few others had run into has received little attention from Atlassian, despite being marked as critical.

The post also highlights the fact that SourceTree creator Steve Streeting left the company in October, which may have introduced some development delays. (Update: A correction to the original article — Steve Streeting is still with Atlassian, he has just moved into an “advisory role when needed” on SourceTree.)

Obviously, no one wants to stick with a workflow-important application with a dubious future, so I hit up SourceTree to find out what the situation was:

And regarding the Windows performance bug:

So if you’re a Windows SourceTree user who’s been thinking about bailing, you might want to hold out for a little longer. That said, there’s no harm in evaluating other options, such as Git Extensions, or a commercial option like SmartGit.

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