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RE: Pair Programming with Subversion

From: <andy.glew_at_amd.com>
Date: 2004-04-15 22:53:01 CEST

> It's great that you're pairing, however you choose to implement it. I
> didn't mean to be negative. Subversion isn't "foisting"
> anything on you
> though. When you check out a working copy in Subversion, it remembers
> who you checked that working copy out as, and uses that username for
> commits (as far as I know). Since it's already fixing the user you're
> committing as, I guess its modes of operating for changing
> files in the
> working copy also assume a single user. If you want to get
> around that,
> you're going to have to set your umask. You're already
> jumping through a
> couple of hoops to share a working copy (NFS or similar, users in the
> same Unix group), why not a couple more?

Setting the umask was all that was necessary on CVS.
It does not make Subversion work.

Specifically, the problem is that Subversion attempts
to chmod some of the files under .svn.
So far as I know, there is no UNIX umask setting
that allows a file that you own to be chmod'ed
by anyone other than root.
(Really, there should be: "This file can be chmod'ed
by anyone in group MyProject". But I don't know
of any standard UNIX filesystem that supports it.)

> >(0.1) As I said earlier, my friends who are doing single
> >monitor pairing also report annoyance with Subversion's
> >permissions handling.
> How so? Working copy on a single machine, two people sat at the
> keyboard, edit/commit/whatever as a single Unix and Subversion user.

Apparently there are different styles of
2 people, single monitor/keyboard/mouse

What I have seen others do is
2 people,
single monitor/keyboard/mouse,
multiple windows on that single monitor,
with different users logged in to
different windows.

This allows multiple users
who have different key bindings and
other environment customizations
to be using the same monitor.
When the person driving switches,
they switch windows.

You are assuming
2 people,
single monitor/keyboard/mouse,
all windows on that single monitor,
logged in as same user.

Which I suppose may be the standard way
for people coming from a Windows environment,
which has not had the concept of windows
belonging to different users.

(By the way, in case anyone is interested in
doing pairing using more than one user id,
EMACS'-mode is wonderful.
Although I paired successfully for two years

> Why do you get permissions problems tripling? I think I must be
> misunderstanding "single monitor" because I'm equating that to single
> machine, single working copy, single Unix user. With that setup there
> isn't a permissions problem.

You do single machine, single working copy, single Unix user.

My friends do single machine, single working copy,
multiple Unix users in different windows.

I do multiple displays (usually, multiple displays
on same machine), single working copy,
multiple Unix users. Often with a single VNC
session multiplexed across the multiple displays.

> >(2) Do you pair?
> Yes, extensively, but I also practice the simplest thing that could
> possibly work -- chuck out one person's machine and both sit at the
> other one. Your previous comment about another programmer's
> refusal to pair

Note: Tom did not refuse to pair. He refused to do single display
pairing. We did multiple display pairing successfully for more
than a year.

> suggests you may have problems not solveable using Subversion...

But solved using CVS.

I'm not asking SVN to solve my problems.
I am asking SVN to support the working style that I have used 
successfully for 2-3+ years of pairing, 4+ years elapsed.
Sorry to sound bitchy.
Email crossed - I just read Mike's mail reporting that
Subversion's filesystem problems may be fixed.  Cool.
Sending this anyway, because I think the discussion 
of pairing styles is still relevant.
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Received on Thu Apr 15 22:53:42 2004

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