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Re: Subversion Platforms: WINDOWS OR AIX/UNIX?

From: Brian Mathis <bmathis_at_directedge.com>
Date: 2004-08-06 18:21:02 CEST

Darren_Enns@cwb.ca wrote:
> One of the recent postings got me wondering about the percentages of
> folks installing/using Subversion on different platforms.
> I am still involved in a 'proof of concept' project involving
> Subversion. When we found out that a precompiled/prepackaged version of
> Subversion was available for Windows, but only 'source' for AIX, it was
> immediately decided that we would use the Windows version -- despite my
> mild protests that I was personally much more familiar with AIX/Unix
> (and writing scripts, etc.).
> When I was also told that any 'production' Subversion server would have
> to be a brand-new independent Windows box, I became even more convinced
> that simply 'piggybacking' on an existing AIX box would be easier to
> manage (and 'cheaper'!).
> However, I was overruled because it was perceived that:
> 1) A lot more people are using Subversion on Windows that are on AIX (so
> better support)

Just because it works on Windows doesn't mean there are more people
using it there. Svn *works* on Windows, but I think most people using
it on Windows are actually using TortoiseSVN, which is a completely
different thing. I imagine that whoever is making this argument is
picturing a nice Windows "gui" version of something, vs a "crappy"
command line version like what you get on *NIX. That's not the case,
they are both command line versions.

> 2) We would never have the hassles/risks of installing/upgrading
> Subversion on Windows (since binaries (not source) are provided)

The "hassles" just get moved elsewhere on Windows. Svn relies heavily
on Apache. While apache works well on Windows, I've never had the
impression that it works as fantastically as it does on UNIX. It's also
quite difficult to get apache on Windows with exactly the options you
want, mainly because, like most *NIX tools, it assumes that you have the
source and will be compiling. Sure, you can get binaries for Windows,
but they'll be compiled with someone else's options.

Precompiled binaries work for most projects, but in my experience they
almost never work well with Apache, because it's just so complex.

> I don't think I can argue against either of these points, but I wondered
> if the users in this forum can confirm or challenge these ideas?
> In the meantime, I have at *least* figured out how to send email from
> Windows NT using a 'post-commit' hook -- it would have taken me a lot
> less time to do this in AIX :)

And this is really the rub of the situation. Svn is undoubtedly
designed to work better with a *NIX workflow model than a Windows model.
  Like most other *NIXy tools, it relies quite extensively on other
tools to be able to get you really productive (it works without them,
but things like 'find', 'vi', 'grep', 'mail', etc are immensely
helpful). When running a server, these tools are extremely valuable.

> Thanks
> Dare

Subversion is both a server and a client. The client that you use can
always talk to the server, regardless of the platform either is on.
Running an svn server always requires Apache (APR at least), and once
you've entered Apache-land, it's all pretty much the same. However, on
*NIX you also get all the extra built in tools that can wind up saving
your butt in a bad situation.

Brian Mathis
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Received on Fri Aug 6 18:21:36 2004

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