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Re: Version control? You're soaking in it!

From: John Szakmeister <john_at_szakmeister.net>
Date: 2005-05-04 02:31:39 CEST

On Tuesday 03 May 2005 19:39, John Burwell wrote:
> Because my team is not as eager as I am to jump in with subversion,
> I'm trying to think of a way I could begin using it to manage my own
> contributions without their immediate participation.
>
> Currently, we all work out of a shared directory, making local copies
> of files we're working on, then copying those back to the server. My
> first thought was to import the current project from the server into
> my own repository, then (secretly!) replace that tree on the server
> with a checked-out copy. From then on, I'd make my own changes as if
> the project was officially versioned, and then I'd go to the server
> and run an svn update. To bring their changes into my repository, I'd
> sneak over and make one big commit each night, with a message to the
> effect of "Everyone else's changes."
>
> I know that if I can show how the immediate benefits of version
> control are available with minimal fuss, everyone will join in right
> away. In the meantime, I want the benefits for my own sake, and the
> demonstration of the viability will really help my pitch in the
> coming months.
>
> So... those of you with a mischievous streak... should I go for it?

In my experience, it's been best to face version control head on. Keep in
mind, if they don't see the advantage they won't want to use it (whether
they secretly have been or not). When I first introduced my team to
version control years ago, I timed it with a stumbling block with the old
way they were doing things. In this particular case, the person made a
change, and didn't know what version to fall back too. He spent 2 hours
trying to figure it out. At the time, I was already using Subversion, so
I showed him how simple it was for me to fallback to a known good state.
So he tried it. Someone witnessed the problem, and decided to follow
suit as well. Before I knew it, the team was convinced that all of them
should be using.

Since then, the team has come to realize that version control is a part of
their daily work habit they can't live without. I'll admit it has been a
long road, and it's been an adventure to try and get everyone to practice
good version control habits (changesets, log messages, etc). I think
they'd all readily admit it was worth the journey, and certainly none of
us works on a single project without having a repository all set up and
ready to go.

Perhaps, not keeping it a secret would be a good thing? See if they'll
mind if you create a repository and start using it. Perhaps they might
be interested in how well things are working. :-)

-John

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Received on Wed May 4 02:38:39 2005

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