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Subba Subba Hey! Migrating to Subversion I

So I'm moving some of my personal projects and managed files onto subversion. I'm going to run with it for 6 months. I hope it works out, version control is the most important aspect of programming for me after testing and a good editor.

I think that CVS will go the way of projects like Apache 1.x - supported and widely deployed, but no active development because the development an innovative focus has moved elsewhere. It's just a matter of time before one of the main sourcecode hosts support svn repositories along with CVS, and Subversion hits a critical mass.

Getting the server installed (on Suse) was tricky. INSTALL is not quite telling truth and there isn't much information on the web on setting up a server, certainly none that worked for me. All told, it took about six attempts over three nights, the problems being mainly with other libraries. I took notes and when there's more time I'll write them up.

By the way, Subversion is not the last word on version control at the low end of the market. There is a chasm between the low end/free tools such as CVS, RCS, Subversion and VSS and the higher end tools like ClearCase and Bitkeeper that reminds me strongly of state of the market a few years ago for IDEs and Bugtrackers. It's exactly the gap that tools like IDEA and Jira have filled, high quality tools with price points that seemed impossible three years ago. I find it incredulous that a business will not enter the VCS market in the next few years and clean up. Having looked at the code for svn, rcs and cvs at one point or another, I think its possible to sustain a product business in VCS at €350 per seat, maybe lower. I should be able to serve up 10 developers for the price of a decent laptop and I should be able to cut a deal at €8K for a 25 head shop. The real business issue is not price, but being able to demonstrate rock solid quality of implementation (VSS remains an anomaly, like storing your life savings under a mattress). The only one that comes close to filling that niche today is Perforce, a fine product, but its price point is enough to either push people who don't really understand the potential ROI on using a solid version control, but do think in terms of machines, IDEs or desktop suites, down to CVS and VSS, or in the larger shops possibly up to Bitkeeper or Clearcase.

[And just for fun, I hope it's based on a grid or p2p architecture which would allow the VCS to scale without trading up to high end servers].

June 14, 2003 10:30 PM


(June 16, 2003 05:31 PM #)

Good man, volunteering for the job of checking it out (pun intended). I only relatively recently got around to using CVS with my personal projects, which makes me feel pretty foolish because it's been a real boon (especially thanks to ViewCVS). Can you please give us an update in a few weeks time, before you've forgotten what life was like before.

Brian Calhoun
(January 31, 2004 07:45 PM #)

Good points about the pricing. I know several developers who live by open source software, but have no problem at all ponying up the buck for Intellij's Idea.

So it's been 6 months. How'd it go? I'm new to Subversion myself, coming from Perforce (and ClearCase and VSS before that). If only I could get a Subersion plugin for Idea....

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