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Re: Subversion Platforms: WINDOWS OR AIX/UNIX?

From: Brian Mathis <bmathis_at_directedge.com>
Date: 2004-08-06 19:55:10 CEST

Mark wrote:
> I have a few issues with your reply:
> 1) Darren is specifically talking about running a server, which has NOTHING
> to do with TortoiseSVN.

Can you read? "TortoiseSVN, which is a completely different thing".
I'm referring to the available Windows packages, be they client or
server. The statement "A lot more people are using Subversion on
Windows that are on AIX" is obviously a statement made by *someone else*
, the whole point of his post is to gather evidence to debunk this other
person's ideas. This is evidenced by: "However, I was overruled because
it was perceived that:" Whoever is doing the overruling made the

> 2) Nobody said command-line tools are "crappy", on any OS. Darren seems to
> be plenty able to use command-line tools, and, surprisingly enough, they
> work the same on Windows and *NIX.

Again, read. I'm referring to the idea that this other person probably
has about the difference between Windows and *NIX versions of tools. In
fact, I said that exact thing, maybe I misplaced the quotes:

     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."

Once again, this tends to be the thoughts of management types who don't
have any clue. Nobody said that command line tools are crappy, except
maybe his manager.

> 3) I've had SVN/Apache running on Windows for months with -zero- problems. I
> installed the binaries right off of the Apache site. From what I see on this
> list, people are MUCH more likely to have problems with confused
> libs/versions installed by various distros of Linux.
> 4) Subversion doesn't enforce a "workflow model", which is what makes it so
> nice. Find? Got it. Grep? Vi? Mail? Got it, got it, got it. While we're at
> it, why is SVN more designed to "work with" vi than, say, EMACS?

Maybe "workflow model" is the wrong word, but there's no question that a
unix shell provides a much more integrated and easier to use interface
for using command line tools than Windows does. Svn being a command
line tool by default gains much more usefulness on *NIX right away.
Sure there's stuff you can install on Windows to get something similar,
but that's yet more packages to install. Cygwin on Windows doesn't
count because that's an emulated *NIX environment. If you're using
Cygwin, you just proved my point.

As far as emacs goes, I guess you need another lesson in reading. In
English we have this word "like", and when used as a preposition it
means "similar to". So when one makes the statement, "like find, vi,
grep, mail, etc...", one is saying, "similar to find, vi, grep, etc...".
  When coupled with the construct "etc...", which means "and so forth",
these two words work together to construct a list of items. The list
contains: "the items or similar items in this list and also other items
not in this list."

> I'd say that, on average, the users of Windows have fewer problems than
> those of any *NIX. That, of course, is not because Subversion works better
> on any given platform than any other, but because of the hard work of those
> that put together the win32 packages.
> I don't want to disparage the work of any other packager here. It's not my
> intention to start a flame war, or even continue one. All platforms have
> different limitations, and different distributions have made choices that
> make packaging for them difficult.
> This isn't the place for discussing whose OS is better. There's /. for that.
> Mark
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Mathis [mailto:bmathis@directedge.com]
> Sent: Friday, August 06, 2004 10:21 AM
> To: Darren_Enns@cwb.ca
> Cc: 'users@subversion.tigris.org'
> Subject: Re: Subversion Platforms: WINDOWS OR AIX/UNIX?
> 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.
> 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 19:55:48 2004

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