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which version control system?

P: n/a
Hi all

we are thinking of using a version control system at work. I was
wondering what are some of the issues we should take into
consideration when deciding upon which one to use? and which one/s you
would recommend?

thanks

marc

Feb 16 '07 #1
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P: n/a
we are thinking of using a version control system at work. I was
wondering what are some of the issues we should take into
consideration when deciding upon which one to use? and which one/s you
would recommend?

I have worked with SourceSafe (6.0), CVS and Subversion. Neither of them
is ideal, but we don't live in an ideal world and they are all workable.
Each of them is better than working without them.

There are a few things you could want with those systems:
- Having an easily accessible backup. They all do that.
- Being able to work on the same files on different development
machines. They all do that, too. SourceSafe 6.0 has to be configured to
enable it, otherwise it will lock the file for other users. If you like
locking, it is possible with the other systems as well (though rarely used).
The alternative, conflict handling, is used on CVS and Subversion (and
newer versions of SourceSafe, I think) and does well for programming
code, but not for resource files. Any file where changes are added at
the bottom will always be in a conflict state when more developers
changed it. Off course, binary files are a bit of a problem as well.
- Keeping multiple versions (branches) of the same file. CVS and
subversion are top champions in this. This is why they are proud on the
term "version control system", as opposed to "source code control
system". SourceSafe can do it, but I never had much use for it.
Actually, if you allow your source code to diverge, I don't understand
why you would use a version control system at all.
- Keeping code shared among projects. I have never been able to do this
in CVS, because I was not an administrator. This says it all. In
Subversion, this is greatly improved. But not yet perfect. The main
problem is that you can never share a file - you can only share
directories. This in turn means that your project directories are
influenced by the version control system, which may or may not be
acceptable for the programming environment you use. It took me about two
days to figure out how to make it work in PHP. SourceSafe has absolutely
no problem with this: you can easily share files and even break the link
later on if you need to. But then, SourceSafe calls itself a "source
code control system".
- Work with a reliable (stable) system for your code. It is off course a
bloody obvious demand, but only subversion is quite stable (which is
quite funny, as the releases were not marked as stable releases).
SourceSafe is a system to have a love/hate relation with. It has a few
really good features (especially the sharing), but you really hate it
when you have to hack the registry for working on a novell network, or
when it messes up your code completely. This can be usually be repaired,
but not without a good deal of trouble and frustration. I encountered
too many problems with CVS as well, but I was glad I was not an
administrator.

Hope this is of any help.
Feb 16 '07 #2

P: n/a
monomaniac21 wrote:
and which one/s you would recommend?
Having used subversion and CVS, I prefer the former, but it's not really a
strong preference. I quite like the eSVN GUI for subversion. svnX is even
better. But I mostly use the command line svn tool.

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
Geek of ~ HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python*/Apache/Linux

* = I'm getting there!
Feb 16 '07 #3

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