Website Repository

NOTE: In April 2020, announced that they would end support for the Mercurial version control system. When Bitbucket began in 2008, they supported Mercurial only. Over the years, the Git version control system has grown to become the default system. Therefore, Mercurial repositories and support will be removed from Bitbucket on July 1, 2020. For now I am continuing to use Mercurial for local revision control (on my computer) and I haven't been updating the Bitbucket repository. I will need to decide whether to switch to Git in the future, to enable the source files for to be shared. This decision is being deferred for now (5/5/2020).
The master version control repository for is hosted on Bitbucket is a hosting site for the distributed version control systems Git and Mercurial. Bitbucket provides free hosting for public repositories and for private repositories with a small number of users. For private repositories with a larger number of users, Bitbucket offers paid hosting.

What Is a Version Control Repository?

Visitors to are familiar with the public version of the website:
The website files are uploaded to the webserver using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Anyone who has built a website will be familiar with this process.

With, I've gone further. First, I've placed all (or at least most) of the website files under a version control system. This enables me to track changes to the files over time. Second, I've chosen to use a distributed version control system (DVCS) called Mercurial, which means that changes can be made by several people in parallel and they can be merged into a central repository which is accessible over the web. The Mercurial repository on Bitbucket contains the master copy of all files. When I want to make changes, I update my working files, push the changes to the master repository using Mercurial, then upload them to the website using FTP.

A few years ago, hackers corrupted a number of web pages on I had to search for and repair these pages by hand. With the files under Mercurial version control, fixing this sort of problem is much simpler.

Where To Find It

The Mercurial repository for is owned by the Alpenglow account on Bitbucket: The home page for the repository is:
The home page for the online book, Written in the Snows, is:

From the Bitbucket home page, the simplest way to get a copy of the sources is to use the "download" link. This link enables you to download all the sources in a ZIP file (or other bundled format). If you download this file and unzip it, you will have the latest revision of the website files.

Currently all Alpenglow repositories on Bitbucket are private. Private means that only certain people have access to the repositories. The account owner sets read, write, or admin access for each user individually. Bitbucket provides free hosting for accounts with up to five private users. Above that number of private users, you have to sign up for a paid account.

Using Mercurial

To enable other contributors to work on the source files, they are stored on Bitbucket in a Mercurial repository. As a distributed version control system (DVCS), Mercurial provides basic revision control and makes it easy for other contributors (when given appropriate permissions) to make changes in parallel and merge them into the master repository. I use the TortoiseHg application to run Mercurial on my Windows machine. To learn more about TortoiseHg and Mercurial, and to download the software, see:
There are several good references for Mercurial. They include:

A Note About Movie Files contains movies (in a subfolder named "movies"). I have not placed the movie files into Mercurial and Bitbucket because they are quite large and, being binary files, they don't benefit much from being placed in a version control system. The movies are on the webserver and are also duplicated on my personal backup disks.

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Copyright © 2012 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Tue, May 5, 2020 9:28:05 AM