Private access with Mercurial

31 Oct 2012


Is it possible to add private access to a project with Mercurial? All I could find in the Colleboration pages was that i can Publish and restrict visibility a bit, but cannot keep it private.

But for commercial software (as I am currently developing) this is NOT an acceptable model (but still I would love to make a clone of the repo for backup purposes).

regards wvd_vegt

31 Oct 2012

Hi wim,

We dont support it now, but it is something we're considering adding. Great that you requested it!

My idea is that it could be an ideal "pro" feature we could charge a bit for as it is the sort of thing useful for commercial collaboration, and could be great for collaboration on private projects between developers/contractors working on a product vs open source projects (which generaly help the whole community more). Could be a nice way for us to get some income from our top commercial users who are best positioned to help pay for mbed's development.

Happy to hear any other features you think might be interesting that may be indicative or useful specifically to heavy use in a commercial environment.


31 Oct 2012

Hi Simon,

I would position the a Pro version for read-write access to the repo and a cheaper or free read-only access. But that's my opinion.

We're all very dependend on you guys storing our data safely and staying in bussiness. At least a decent (local) backup should be free (as i mailed, a git/mercurial fast-export formatted export option would already be fine).

As for the 'top' commercial, out company is very small, two employees so do not expect much money. One reason we chose mBed as controller for our products (affordable hardware and a excellent compiler).

regards Wim van der Vegt

31 Oct 2012

Hi Simon

Btw what pricing range where you thinking of for this feature?

regard Wim van der Vegt

31 Oct 2012


I will be happy to pay for "pro". Everybody loves to have some specials and "pro" sign at nickname :o) as for example flickr has.

I think that would be great to have some features only for "pro" users. But I would love to have official mbed USB host library which can work with mbed's official RTOS. And also LPC4350 mbed, please.

For me is also very important how we have to pay becuase my card does not work on internet so I would prefer PayPal.

13 Nov 2012

In lieu of this existing, it would be great to see HTTP Basic Access Authentication. This should be easy to implement ( I do it all the time for personal projects, and it amounts to one line in a config file for each restricted directory ).

Perhaps the unlisted projects could have a "password" field for this purpose.

Obviously this isn't state-of-the-art security, but with an SSL connection this should suffice to protect against casual snooping.

If you do get round to offering real private repos, I'd expect client side decryption so that everything on the server is encrypted and unreadable by mbed.

You can do this with git, not sure about mercurial.

13 Nov 2012

Hi mbed guys,

Any timeframe until we can expect private access to the repository (either directly through Mercurial or by a fast-export option as interim solution)?

regards Wim van der vegt

13 Nov 2012

Hi Wim,

Timescale: This was something we were going to look at the first half of next year, depending on other demand and priorities.

Pricing: Obviously all TBD, but what I'd really like to enable (and I hope will have real value to people) is to help the companies and individuals who want to contract out work to others on mbed to get access to additional skills to help them build their projects faster/better or even at all! If you can easily tap in to the skilled developers on mbed to help get your product built, everyone is a winner (you get help building your product, someone else earns money for doing great work, our platform is even better at increasing productivity!).

The platform should be able to give reassurance of expertise/skills by what people have published to choose who to work with, and then provide a really easy environment to work within via private collaboration etc, so I really think this could enable amazing collaborations that otherwise would never occur. It also means as a skilled developer on mbed, i'd hope there should be easy ways for you to earn money by contracting your time!

As a first approximation, you can imagine you might pay $30-60/hr for a good developer who could really help you (from a quick check on elance/odesk/etc), which equates to approximately $5k-10k/month. I'd want the cost associated with that value we brought to enable and execute that collaboration to be a meaningful amount (so we create real income to allow us to invest even more) but by comparison to the contracting itself be somewhat insignificant. So assuming 5% premium on that cost would give $250-500/month for making that contracting relationship happen and be really effective. My gut feel from that price is that'd be about right at the top end of the scale for someone who could really enable their business/product based on FT contracting, but i'd also expect to have a lower tier for those who use it less actively or different scenarios as that won't be good value for some scenarios. So that would suggest the pro features would be in the $50-$500/month range makes sense.

No doubt that'd feel expensive for people who don't have a use for or value those things, but for the percentage that really do, it should be excellent value that opens up new opportunities for their businesses. There may be some other features that would be specifically useful for those who want to go to production. But we'd still like to be free for the initial personal prototyping (whether commercial or not), and for open source collaboration which helps everybody, so wouldn't want to inhibit these general broad base of users.

Hope that sounds good!


14 Nov 2012


You're usecase is valid for large teams and hired people, but not for small firms or private developers that only want their sources (and history) to be stored in more that one place.

I only find it acceptable in scenario like: if you sell a single mbed, have a large team of 10+ people all working through Mercurial and they would be developing custom hardware so never buy a second mbed.

So the pricing range from $50-$500 sounds imho and in my case pretty outrageous, and i'm being mild (especially because you also sell the hardware and I hope make a living/profit from that). Note: I'm talking about my usecase where i want to have a backup including history.

For this amount of money I could easily/better buy a stand-alone ide like Kiel and leave the mbed site/compiler for what it is.

Mercurial is not always about working together but it's also a version control system that can be used for versioning and keeping history of development.

regards Wim van der Vegt