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Re: Subversion vs. Clear Case

From: David Weintraub <qazwart_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-07-06 17:33:00 CEST

On 7/6/05, Dan Shookowsky <dshookowsky@gmail.com> wrote:
> FYI: I really don't like ClearCase. On my previous assignment,
> ClearCase required a fulltime administrator simply to close the modal
> dialogs that the server process was displaying on the server's
> desktop. This is on a machine where no one is logged in. Basically
> clear case would hang until someone clicked "OK"

I loved ClearCase, but then I was the ClearCase Admin too which meant
I pretty much had a job for life. However, I've never seen modal
dialog boxes on the server. Actually, there are several different
servers (VOB Server, View Server, License Server) and all of them run
in the background sending messages to a log file.

> I find Subversion to be substantially more stable (even in the BDB
> configuration). The only ding that Subversion gets is on the merge
> tracking. I think it beats ClearCase in EVERY other way and that
> includes support. What you get for free from this list is 100 times
> more reliable that what you get from Rational consultants.

Rational Support stunk. I don't know if IBM is doing a better job.
Subversion is simple, light, and fairly quick to setup. I don't know
how Subversion would handle a situation where you have hundreds of
people constantly hitting the servers and the network, but ClearCase
could scale up to that.

With dynamic views, ClearCase really shined. No need for fetching and
updating. Your work wasn't tied down to a particular machine. You
could share your branch with another user, or even your own view which
means you can do XP (extreme programming) development without two
people sharing the same system. You had constant access to the entire
archive without having to fetch in another copy.

Unfortunately, without dynamic views, ClearCase not only becomes
another Version Control System, but becomes one weighed down by all
the relics of the mvfs. It is very slow to do such simple things as
updating your view, loading the snapshot, and you still have that
stupid ConfigSpec you've got to setup.

I was not a great fan of CVS, but Subversion is different. The ability
to use standard protocols for server/client conversations. The ability
to use any client you wish to talk to the server. The fact that the
Admin does not have to worry about the Subversion clients used by the
developers. And, of course being open sourced, means that you don't
have to worry about licensing problems.

Still, there are several green areas in Subversion in some pretty
important areas. Merging should be much better. The svn:log is
overloaded because you can't easily search for properties. You can't
set revision properties when you create a revision. The fact that
branching and tagging are not first class concepts in Subversion is a
major problem. I hope that these problems will be solved as Subversion
gets more mature. Subversion certainly has a lot of promise.

--
David Weintraub
qazwart@gmail.com
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Received on Wed Jul 6 17:35:55 2005

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