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Re: Subversion vs. Perforce

From: Tom Lord <lord_at_emf.net>
Date: 2003-09-10 22:53:29 CEST

> From: Guido van Rossum <guido@python.org>

> So now my question: what does Subversion has that compares to
> Perforce's GUI?

Is that _really_ the deciding factor? You wrote:

> In our young startup [....]

> I've failed miserably at building from source for Red Hat 9
> [....]

(And, didn't you earlier report trying for an entire day? Presumably
that's not what you were hired to work on :-)

> [VPoE's] reasoning [for Perforce] is that we're going to have
> *one* company-wide source control system for all documents that
> need to be under source control, not just code, but also specs,
> docs, marketing collateral, etc.

Sounds like a cost control and robustness decision. He can hire
(from a large supply of unemployed, around these parts) a quite well
qualified, quite experienced sysadmin with Perforce experience.

> I liked the Perforce command line interface fine, but [....]

Stop there. Good enough.

> $750/seat that Perforce will cost


You go on to say that you like some esoteric aspects of Subversion
technology and like that it's open source -- but notably, you don't
say "Subversion would let us developers do our work in such a
fundamentally better way than any alternative that I think we
developers need to fight to use it."

It seems to me that to get svn into your shop, someone who wants to
make a business of it should approach you with a convincing offer that

  1) for less than $750/seat + 1/20*sysadmin-with-Perforce-experience

  2) I'll help install svn in your shop and set up a GUI that your
     entire staff will enjoy

  3) I'll guarantee uptime, reliability, and efficiency comparable to
     what you'd get from Perforce (if not better)

But I think that's a damn hard price-point / feature-set to hit with
Subversion at the moment. (And, no, arch would have similar problems
hitting that price point.)

Revision control is a nasty, horrid, niche within the industry to try
to make money by conventional means, at this point in history.


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Received on Wed Sep 10 22:51:05 2003

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