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Subversion advocacy

From: Mike Mason <mgm_at_thoughtworks.net>
Date: 2004-01-12 21:48:39 CET

I've been making some noises about how great I think Subversion is, but
now I'm actually trying to convince some decision makers that we should
use it for Real Projects(tm). So far I've waxed lyrical about the
technical advantages of Subversion (atomic commit, efficient use of
network being the main ones for distributed projects), but have to
convince people that it's as good as a commercial product where you can
scream at the vendor.


 - pedigree. Of the main developers I see floating around, I definitely
know who Karl Fogel is, because his CVS book is sat on my desk at work.
Anyone else mind name dropping themselves and why they know what they're
talking about? (I know you know what you're talking about, but maybe you
see what I mean...)

 - support. CollabNet are funding some of the development, will they be
offering support? Anyone else?

 - maturity. We're not at 1.0 yet, and a whole bunch of folks won't even
look at something until it's 1.0. I've used it since 0.30 and not had
any problems, but that's (unfortunately) not much of an argument. Are we
in beta, even?

 - tools. Another kinda-1.0 thing. I stuck with the command line client
because I'm a l33t h4x0r d00d, but there are some less elite folk out
there who like/need GUIs. TortoiseSVN, great. Subclipse, great idea, is
that actively being maintained? Needs recompiling when a new Subversion
comes out. IntelliJ plugin? Experience reports welcomed (although
Tortoise was fine when we used it for CVS).

The basic problem I have is that we have working source control, and
even if it is painful, it works. I reckon it wastes vast amounts of
developer time dealing with it (and the broken builds that result), but
it hasn't eaten our source code. Well, not all of it. So it's much
easier for someone to say "no, don't do anything, too risky" than to
actually make a migration plan and figure out if it's doable and how
much risk we're talking about.

Thanks for any hints you folks have.


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Received on Mon Jan 12 21:49:13 2004

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