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Re: Arguments to favor Subversion against Perforce

From: Sean Laurent <sean_at_neuronfarm.com>
Date: 2004-11-22 23:39:35 CET

On Monday 22 November 2004 04:21 pm, bse2000@gmx.de wrote:
> I'm wondering whether you could help me to list arguments against a switch
> from Subversion to Perforce (or that would support a switch from Perforce
> to Subversion).

I had the opportunity to use Perforce for about 2 years and I must say I
really liked it. It is a mature product with atomic commits, branching,
integration history (to avoid reintegrating the same changesets), an easy to
use commandline tool and a really nice GUI. The are two main reasons I use
Subversion now:

1) Cost. Perforce costs about $750 per seat, while Subversion is obviously
free. Yes, Perforce has a few features Subversion doesn't have... but it's
difficult to justify the price.

2) Offline support. When I worked with Perforce, you had to have an active
connection to the server to be able to do anything... even "edit" a file.
According to the Perforce datasheet, they support "offline operation", but I
don't know anything about it. It may or may not be comparable to how
Subversion works. In my current office, we have a lot of people with laptops
who work from home in the evening... it's very convenient for them to be able
to write code without having to connect to the VPN.

> Due to that we have to use Windows (:-(), I was happy that the nice
> TortoiseSVN exists and is relatively stable, so that also the newbees in
> our group could easily start without learning the command line interface.

In my experience, the learning curves for the Perforce GUI and TortoiseSVN are
similar - the biggest problem tends to be understanding how to use source
control in the first place.

> So there is no real need to do extensive branching or merging.
> Our department is distributed all over the World (mainly California and
> Germany) using all kind of interconnection interfaces. Hence, we would like
> to use version control also when logging remotely into our intranet (e.g.
> dialup with wired or wireless phones, WLAN hotspots or hotel internet
> connections).

Those are two of your selling points for Subversion. First, the idea that the
extra money for Perforce buys you features that your company won't be using.
For example, one of the highly touted of Perforce is its robust support for
branching and integrating/merging, which you indicated you don't need.
Second, Subversion works well even if the user's machine is disconnected from
the network.

That should get you started thinking. Meanwhile, I'm sure other people can
contribute to this discussion.


I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

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Received on Mon Nov 22 23:43:13 2004

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