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Re: A few questions

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2004-02-13 05:04:28 CET

Alexander Johannesen wrote:

> Hmm, how much of this can be hidden from the user? A lot (umm, most)
> of our users aren't savvy enough to understand the in's and out's of
> versioning, little less what a branch might be and how to create it. Most of
> them will access Subversion through the TortoiseSVH client, and I somehow
> need to fiddle with the hooks in trying to make it all seem invisible as
> possible.

It's a noble goal, but I think you're doomed to failure. :-)

Version control (and workflow) are inherently complex processes, and I
assert that there's no set of tools in the world that will magically
hide all the complexity. You can't just "sneak" a version control
system on developers when they're not looking, and hope they don't notice!

As someone said earlier on this list: version control is a means to an
end, not an end in itself. What overarching problems are you trying to
solve in your company? Why do you think version control will help?

Once you can define the problem and make your developers agree that a
solution is needed, you're on your way. Your users are going to have to
change the way the work, and learn new things. You can't avoid that;
so you need to get them on your side and help them realize it's worth
their time and energy to change habits. It's not a matter of users
being 'savvy', but rather being motivated to learn.

In other words, I think you need to move in the opposite direction:
don't waste your time trying to make version control invisible. It's an
impossible task. Instead, make it as visible as possible, and focus on
educating people.

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Received on Fri Feb 13 05:05:36 2004

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