We present the first in-depth, large scale empirical study that looks at the influence of DVCS on the practice of splitting, grouping, and committing changes. We recruited 820 participants for a survey that sheds light into the practice of using DVCS. We also analyzed 409M lines of code changes from 358300 commits, made by 5890 developers, in 132 repositories containing a total of 73M LOC. Using this data, we uncovered some interesting facts. For example, (i) commits made in distributed repositories were 32% smaller than the centralized ones, (ii) developers split commits more often in DVCS, and (iii) DVCS commits are more likely to have references to issue tracking labels.
Our results are detailed in a research paper that appeared at the ICSE'14 conference (link to paper).
To get further insights into how Distributed Version Control affects code changes, we performed an study on a corpus of open-source repositories.
We found that when using Distributed Version Control Systems developers make commits 32% smaller than when using Centralized Version Control Systems. Also, Distributed Version Control Systems are the tool of choice for most projects.
The Corpus we used for the analysis is available here.