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Query on possible functionality in version control systems

From: Daniel Jordan Bambach <dan_at_lateral.net>
Date: 2006-10-10 13:53:22 CEST

I apologise in advance if this list if the wrong place for this post
because it is more of a query, and because it is might be out of
scope for this project, but I wanted to get straight to the 'brains'
behind SVN so to speak :)

The question revolves around whether there is a way to remove the
need for any need for any developer (or designers/ document writers
as we have using SVN here) to actually every have a full copy of a
given repository on their local machine any more, given ubiquitous
connectivity and speeds of networks (especially within an organisation).

SVN already supports 'auto-versioning' whereby a repository can be
mounted as a network drive, with saves made to that drive causing a
commit on that file each time. This scenario has many drawbacks of
course: The concept of a local copy is gone, preventing a developer
working on multiple files, make temporary changes that they never
intend to commit back and of course testing anything without
effecting the main repository.

But picture an environment with lots of developers/ designers all
working on lots of projects (as they do in my organisation). For
someone to work on a project, maybe for only a day or two, they need
to check out sometimes multiple gigabytes of data, to perhaps do only
one small thing. In this case the mounted drive is very appealing.

Would it not be possible to develop a system that allowed a
repository to be mounted as a drive, in the DAV scenario, - making
the whole repository immediately available to them, but for
subsequent modify/saves to be stored locally (or elsewhere on the
server, particular to that user), instead of directly back to the
repository, allowing the user to review and commit back their changes
at a later stage, at their leisure and in a more organised manner.

This is a sort of overlay of each users changes on top of the
baseline repository. Should this be managed on the server, it might
be possible to give the user control over which version of the
repository their changes are overlaid on (frozen when they begin work
perhaps) so they needn't necessarily be effected by other peoples
check-ins while they work, and allow testing of their changes against
subsequent check-ins.

Does anyone have thoughts/ opinions on this, or is there in fact
something out there that already does this that people know of?

Again, I apologise if this is not the forum for this kind of query,
but I wanted to start somewhere.


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Received on Tue Oct 10 13:53:50 2006

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